LONDON, November 17, 2019
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the champion of the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals. Only one year after lifting the trophy at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, the 21-year-old Greek fought past Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4) in Sunday’s championship match at London’s O2-Arena.
Tsitsipas struck nine aces and capitalized on three of his 10 break point chances to secure victory in two hours and 35 minutes. The 21-year-old has become the youngest champion since 20-year-old Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.
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“I have no clue how I played so well in the second set,” said Tsitsipas. “I have no idea. I think my mind was at ease and I wasn’t really thinking of much, which led to such a great performance in the second set, breaking him twice,” said Tsitsipas. “I didn’t give him much options to play with in the second set. It was pretty much an excellent set for me.
“It was pretty frustrating for me to be playing with such nerves for the first time in such a big event. I was a break up, I couldn’t manage to hold it. Things were decided in the tie-break and I am so relieved by this outstanding performance and fight that I gave out on the court.
“[The crowd support] is just phenomenal, having such an army behind me while I am on the court. They give me so much energy. They give me belief that I can achieve the things I want to achieve on the court. They motivate me. They just give me so much energy in general and I just love that. I would like to thank every single one [of the fans] who came here to support me today with the Greek flags. They made it feel like home.”
The World No. 6 is the seventh player to win on his first appearance at the season-ending finale.
“I was excited to be part of the Nitto ATP Finals experience. For me, it was already a big thing. Now that I’m a champion, I don’t know how to explain it,” Tsitsipas said. “I honestly don’t feel anything, because [there are] too many emotions to feel something.”
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“It’s not the end of the world, because I always think back on some matches in the past, like also in the last weeks, and I won some really close matches like this today to even get myself to the situation to play these Finals,” Thiem said.
“It’s always going to be like that in tennis. That’s why it’s probably mentally the most brutal sport existing, because you can play such a great match and end up losing in the championship match. From that point of view, it’s a very disappointing loss, very hard to digest. But on the same hand, I had some amazing wins also, even this week, that they get me in this situation even to play the finals. So it’s fine.”
Herbert/Mahut take doubles title
One year after squandering championship point, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut do not drop a set all week en route to the Nitto ATP Finals doubles title. The No. 7 seeds of France defeated Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Michael Venus from South Africa 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 10 minutes earlier in the day.
“Thank you for sharing the court with me, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy when I am with you on the court,” said Herbert, on playing with Mahut. “You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that.”
The Frenchmen are the ninth team in the last 10 years to lift the trophies at the season-ending championship. Only Henri Kontinen and John Peers won the title twice during this decade.