MADRID, May 5, 2017
Simona Halep and Grigor Dimitrov won the Tie Break Tens Madrid titles and winner-take-all $250,000 prizes after a thrilling night of tennis inside the Caja Mágica. Both players then donated $50,000 to the Mutua charity against domestic violence.
Halep overcame Svetlana Kuznetsova 10-6, while Dimitrov survived a match point in his quarterfinal against Dan Evans before going on to win it 14-12, and then the final against home favourite Feliciano López 10-7.
“I was so nervous,” said Dimitrov. “I think the format does that – I was sweating a lot in that first match. When it came to crunch time it was important to be strong and in the final I was. It feels great to have won this title. To play in front of this crowd was special and we all had a lot of fun.”
— Tie Break Tens (@tiebreaktens) 4. Mai 2017
The players entered the arena through walls of fire and sat courtside through all of the matches, chatting to one another, cheering on their friends, and showing sides to their personalities that fans in the stadium and watching on tv might not have been accustomed to.
On the court, it was all business, with Kuznetskova edging out Madison Keys 12-10 in the first match of the night. Indeed, it was the first match ever to go beyond 10-8 in a Tie Break Tens tournament.
The Dimitrov vs. Evans match went a step further. It was the clash of the night. Dimitrov led 8-2, but the British player reeled him in, saving a match point before setting up one of his own with some stunning play. One rally of more than 20 strokes brought the crowd to their feet. A double-fault handed the initiative back to the Bulgarian, and he sealed victory 14-12.
In the semifinals, Kuznetskova beat Agnieszka Radwanska and Halelp overcame Monica Puig, who had earlier beaten Maria Sharapova.
On the men’s side, Lopez thrilled the home crowd by coming from behind against Tomas Berdych in the semis, before falling just short against Dimitrov in the final.
Kuznetsova 12-10 Keys
Radwanska 10-5 Muguruza
Halep 10-2 Konta
Puig 10-6 Sharapova
Kuznetsova 10-6 Radwanska
Halep 10-5 Puig
Halep 10-6 Kuznetsova
Dimitrov 14-12 Evans
Verdasco 10-6 Pouille
Berdych 12-10 Sock
Lopez 10-1 Wawrinka
Dimitrov 10-8 Verdasco
Lopez 10-8 Berdych
Dimitrov 10-7 Lopez