with the Masters, Stefanos Tsitsipas wins his first big title

Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final against Dominic Thiem, Sunday 17 November.
Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final against Dominic Thiem, Sunday 17 November. GLYN KIRK / AFP

The models are made (too) to be outdated. In the space of two days this weekend, in London, Stefanos Tsitsipas, winner of the Masters, the tournament of "masters", which brings together each end of the season the eight best players in the world, has demonstrated.

Saturday, in the semifinals, the Greek made the Swiss Roger Federer fall. On Sunday, in the final, he beat Austria's Dominic Thiem, clinching the first major title of his career.

Federer, Thiem … A few hours before the final, won in three sets (6-7, 6-2, 7-6), Stefanos Tsitsipas said that these two players were important to him and have been – if not always – a source inspiration.

And if the first seems difficult to imitate – "What Roger does, only Roger can do it -, the second "Was always someone I wanted to look like, he explained. I try to play with the same commitment as him, the same will he puts when he is on the court. "

In the final Sunday, the Greek has demonstrated. After a very strong first set, lost after a tie-break, he reversed the lead at the start of the second run, inflicting a 4-0 to his opponent before concluding at 6-2, resuming the hand on the match.

He did not release at the start of the third set, leading 3-1. But Thiem came back in the game, leading 5-4. And it is finally in a final tie-break that the Greek made the difference, being more solid and taking twice the points on the service of his opponent.

"It's such a relief, I do not know how I did to winhe said hot. I was tense to play such an important game. It was played in tie-breaks, I was frustrated to lose the first one. "

A successful first

At 21, Stefanos Tsitsipas participated for the first time in the Masters. He is the youngest winner of the event since the Australian Leyton Hewitt in 2001. In 2018, he had won the Next Gen, the unofficial Masters of players under 21 years.

In the course of the week, he had dominated the Russian Daniil Medvedev, very prominent in recent months, and defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany. He had just lost in the final match of the group stage, against Spaniard Rafael Nadal, world number one, after a very close match.

Ranked 6e World rank before the Masters, Stefanos Tsitsipas had arrived in London by a participation in the final (lost) of the Beijing tournament. He had previously gone through a complicated summer, coming out of contention in four tournaments (Montreal, Cincinnati, US Open, Zhuhai).

A period that had forgotten a strong start to the season, with a semifinal in Melbourne, then successes in Marseille and Estoril and finals in Dubai and Madrid.

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Dominic Thiem left empty-handed of a Masters in which he participated for the fourth time. In the week, however, he beat Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in group stage, before taking the measure of Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.

"I'm on the right track," Dominic Thiem was satisfied in early October after winning the Beijing tennis tournament. The Austrian had just beaten in the final … Stefanos Tsitsipas.

In previous months, he had changed his game and mentally strengthened under the leadership of his new coach, former Chilean player Nicolas Massu. But on Sunday it was Tsitsipas who was the strongest mentally. Thiem, after a first set torn off the tie-break, had a run-down in the second set.

The Austrian remains in search of a first big victory. This year he has won several tournaments, but rather second place: he has won in Barcelona, ​​Kitzbühel (Austria), Beijing and Vienna (Austria). He nevertheless won his first Masters 1000 tournament at Indian Wells in March.

On the Grand Slam tournaments, his career was chaotic in 2019. Beaten in the first round at Wimbledon and the US Open, he reached a single final at Roland Garros. He lost to Rafael Nadal, as he had already lost a year earlier.

On Sunday, he fell in front of a representative of the younger generation – the "Next Gen" as she was baptized – who did not shake when he had to shoot down his model.


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