ACAPULCO, February 28, 2016
Dominic Thiem caps a fantastic February with his fifth ATP World Tour title, winning Saturday’s final of the Abierto Mexicana Telcel in Acapulco against Bernard Tomic 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.
Both players met for the first time and also appeared in their first ATP 500 final with the fourth seed from Austria as the dominant force on court. Thiem sent down 22 aces, winning 82% of his first service points as well as 54% of the total points to seal victory in one hour and 55 minutes.
The final was the third on the ATP World Tour between players born in the 1990s. All three have involved Thiem, who was understandably happy afterwards.
“It was unbelievable. These three weeks have been amazing. Winning my first 500 title and first hard-court title, it was just perfect. It was how a final should be, between two young and up-and-coming players. I hope we’re going to play many more finals together. Both of us wanted to win so badly and I’m happy I was the one today,” he said.
Thiem, who will rise to a career-high World No. 14 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is the first Austrian to emerge victorious at the tournament since Thomas Muster completed a four-peat in 1996.
Earlier this month, Thiem captured the title in Buenos Aires and made it into the semis in Rio de Janeiro. Thiem is now 5-1 in ATP finals and has become the fourth multiple winner in 2016 after Novak Djokovic (Doha, Australian Open), Stan Wawrinka (Chennai, Dubai) and Roberto Bautista-Agut (Auckland, Sofia).
“It’s not easy, I’d love to win. It could have been huge if I won, but I had a chance. That’s the biggest disappointment, having the chance to win. I’m frustrated with myself… I was leading in the first set and then I lost it and I was up a break in the third and gave away my serve straight away,” Tomic told and continued:
“But he was playing very well and he’s an amazing competitor. Every point he’s competing. He was feeling good on court and has been playing well all week. In the final of big tournaments, you have to take your chances in the big moments. I didn’t take it.”
Fourth seed Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi claimed their first team title, winning the final against third favourites Philipp Petzschner and Alexander Peya 7-6, 6-3 in one hour and 25 minutes.
Former World No. 1 Max Mirnyi is just two match wins from joining the ‘700 Club’.
“I told Treat that even though we’ve only been together for two months, we’ve been through a lot. We’ve improved on our teamwork and things we need to do. Luckily today, in a big tournament like Acapulco, everything clicked. We played well at the same time which was important,” he said.
“It was a tough first round match against Guccione and Tomic and we somehow came out with the win there 14-12 in the tie-break. We took a lot of momentum from that. I was feeling pretty sick the first few days and could barely get out of bed, but as Max said we just need to find a way. We did and we’ve been playing great tennis all week. It’s great to win a title and we’re having fun. The tournament here in Acapulco is unbelievable,” Huey added.
In the women’s competition of the WTA International Event second seed Sloane Stephens took the title, winning an epic final over former Acapulco champion Dominica Cipulkova 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 in three hours and five minutes.
“I got a little bit better today because of her, and I wouldn’t want to have this memory with anyone else,” Stephens said of Cibulkova during the trophy ceremony. It is her second title of the year. She takes away $43,800 in prize money as well as 280 WTA ranking points.
“We had a great week and a great start to the year, and I’m looking forward to keeping it going. I don’t think I’ve ever played in front of a crowd quite like this. Thank you for letting me experience this in Acapulco because it’s something I’ll remember forever.”