Living up to his billing as the “next-gen” star – Stefanos Tsitsipas announced his arrival in the grandest of fashions on Sunday night as he claimed the biggest title of his career. In a compelling summit clash, Tsitsipas battled back to beat Austria’s Dominic Thiem 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6 (4) in an intense three-set encounter at London’s O2 Arena. Courtesy this win, the Greece star has also capped off a successful transition from 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals champion to the Nitto ATP Finals crown, in a year.
In the two hours and 35-minute championship match, Tsitsipas came back from a set down to emphatically confirm his meteoric rise into the highest echelon of men’s tennis. At the age of 21 years and three months, Tsitsipas is the youngest Nitto ATP Finals champion since former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt (20) in 2001 in Sydney.
Also, it was Tsitsipas’s third title of the season and comes a year after he was crowned champion at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
He has charmed the crowd at London’s O2 Arena all week and earned his place in the final with an impressive straight-sets win against six-time champion Roger Federer.
“I can’t sum up my emotions right now,” said Tsitsipas. “It’s amazing to be remembered as the 2019 champion. It is a dream come true and the best way to end this match.
“I did get nervous at some points in the match but I managed to forget about how I felt and I had momentum in the tie-break which was really tight. My fighting spirit and me constantly trying to push myself to do better got me there in the end.”
This is the fourth straight year that a first-time season finale titlist has been crowned, following in the footsteps of Andy Murray (2016), Grigor Dimitrov (2017) and Alexander Zverev (2018).
The last time this happened in the tournament’s history was from 1988-1991 with Boris Becker (1988), Stefan Edberg (1989), Andre Agassi (1990) and Pete Sampras (1991) winning the title.