Thiem Tames Medvedev To Clinch Barcelona Open Crown

BARCELONA, April 28, 2019 (by Sharada Rajagopalan)

Dominic Thiem capped off a successful week by winning his first title at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Sunday. The No. 3 seed from Austria defeated Daniil Medvedev of Russia in straight sets 6-4, 6-0 in 73 minutes.

The final result of the match was a complete turnaround to the way it began with Medvedev imposing his game over Thiem, who was the crowd favourite. The 23-year-old from Moscow raced away to a 3-0 lead in the first set after breaking the World No. 5’s serve in the second game of the set. In the fourth game, Medvedev came close to breaking Thiem’s serve for the second time but the latter held on to finally put himself on the scoreboard.

That game, however, marked the turning point of the match as the higher-ranked player won four games on the trot to go up 5-3 in the set. Serving to stay in the set in the eighth game, Medvedev faced a set point but saved it to force Thiem. The 2019 Indian Wells champion brought up two more set points in the 10th game but was denied of the second. On the third set point, however, Thiem made no mistakes and went on to take the lead in the match.

The second set was entirely one-sided in Thiem’s favour, as he looked like he could do nothing wrong and imposed himself thoroughly over his hapless opponent.

According to Thiem, who spoke to Alex Corretja after the match on-court, the key to the match was using his slice well against Medvedev. He also mentioned that at the start of the match he was not able to employ his slice better which led to him slipping down an early break.

Aside from the immediateness of the achievement, there was a lot at play for the Lichtenwörth resident. It was his first triumph in Barcelona in his second final. In his previous trip to the title match in 2017, he lost to Rafael Nadal, whose run of 22 match wins in Barcelona was ended by Thiem during Saturday’s semi-finals.

“Winning this means a lot to me because it’s such a traditional and special tournament,” Thiem was quoted on the ATP Tour website. “Only great players have won here. Rafa has won it 11 times and it means a lot that Muster won it twice. It’s a big moment for me.”

In addition, following his victory, Thiem joined Roger Federer as players to have lifted more than one title in 2019. Like the Swiss, Thiem, too, has won one ATP Masters 1000 and one ATP 500 event (Indian Wells and Barcelona). The 20-time Grand Slam champion won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships followed by the Miami Open. The 25-year-old is also the second Austrian to win the tournament in Barcelona, after Thomas Muster’s 1996 heroics.

Beyond personal records, speaking of significance to the event itself, this marked the first time since 2002 that a non-Spanish and non-Japanese player had claimed the Trofeo Conde de Godo.

“A title like this always gives you a lot of confidence, so I’ll be in a good mood going into Madrid. But the special thing about tennis is that I’ll start from zero in Madrid,” said Thiem, who picked up 500 ATP Rankings points and a cheque for €503,015.