Dominic Thiem came through a tough final against Stefanos Tsitsipas to win his fourth title of the season 3-6 6-4 6-1 at the China Open in Beijing.
I've only faced top, top guys in this China Open. As I said before, the draw was amazingly strong. They are even much younger than me, so I cannot say they are the same generation. Dominic Thiem
Thiem, who qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals by reaching the ATP 500 final, broke in the 10th game of the second set to wrestle momentum away from the reigning NextGen champion, who was aiming for his first ATP 500 crown.
“It feels great because today was for me one of the best matches I’ve played in my life. Game style wise and also, how I came back; it’s definitely one of my biggest titles because the tournament is so strong, the draw was so strong. Makes me very happy that I stand as the champion at the end of the week,” the 26-year-old Austrian said.
Reflecting on the match, Thiem highlighted the decisive moments as far as he was concerned.
“I think there were two turning points. [First] was 3-6 1-2, a break down. “Straightaway I came back. I changed my return position a little bit. He served well, so I tried to mix it up a little bit. It worked out. Of course, it gave me a lot of confidence to come straight back into the match.
“The other one was at 4-all, I was I think 4-3, Love-30, didn’t make it. 4-all I had to save a break point. I saved it very good. I broke him to 6-4. I think that was the moment of the match that the momentum switched,” he continued.
Thiem also pointed out that that Tsitsipas was a powerful opponent, especially on defence.
“He was going [at] an incredible pace in the first set. I really had trouble to keep it up. “Always when I returned closer to the baseline, I didn’t hit the perfect return. He was straightaway coming in and straightaway putting [on] pressure. If he does that, he’s almost unstoppable.
“That’s why I tried to return little bit farther behind the baseline to give myself more time, to come more neutral into the rallies. If I’m in the defence against a player like him, I cannot win,” he admitted.
His pre-tournament preparation had also helped.
“I had a great preparation for this tournament. From [the] Laver Cup on I started to play really well. I came into the tournament with good confidence, played great tennis from the first match on. Of course, you can never expect to end up as a winner. That’s why I’m very happy that I did it,” he added.
His success in Beijng has ensured he plays at the ATP Finals in London’s O2 next month as he becomes the third player, joining Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, as the only players to have won four titles this season, which means a lot to him.
“First of all, it’s great to win four titles in one season.
“I only made it once. Of course, it’s a big honor to be on top with Rafa and Novak, true legends of our game. All four titles, which I won this season, are very big titles — very special titles to me. A 1000, two strong 500s, then my first title on home soil.
“It’s been so far the best season of my career, that’s for sure. A big honor to be with them on the top of the list this year.”
“On his triumph in Beijing,” the world number 5 concluded: “I’ve only faced top, top guys in this China Open. As I said before, the draw was amazingly strong. They are even much younger than me, so I cannot say they are the same generation.
“I don’t get extra motivation if I play against them. I’m really motivated in every match. We have a great rivalry with these guys, with Stefanos, with Sascha, Karen. I hope we’ll play lots of finals also in the future in big tournaments like that. Hope that we soon also going to make it to the Grand Slam stages.”