The DOMinator takes on the Greek Freak. Set your alarm, head to bed early & let the boss know you might be a little late into work tomorrow morning – because the Nitto ATP Tour Finals will crown a new champion tomorrow. Catch it all on Kayo or TennisTV from 4am AEST.
It’s going to be an electrifying end to the 2019 ATP Season. The Nextgen of men’s tennis, often lambasted for poor showings in big events, have successfully ousted ‘The Big 3’ from this years ATP Tour Finals. It will be a battle of the first-timers in London this year, with both Dominic Thiem & Stefanos Tsitsipas reaching the final of the ATP Tours unofficial ‘5th major’ for the first time. But who will claim the final title of 2019? Let’s find out!
Tale of the tape
Dominic Thiem sits at no. 5 in the world and Stefanos Tsitsipas at 6.
26 y/o Thiem had a strong year – he reached the final of Roland Garros for a second time, but struggled to gain traction in the years other majors with a couple of 1st round exits. 2019 was a year where Dominic won 3 hard court titles and 2 clay court titles. He also began to show he is a genuine hard court phenom with his first ever Masters 1000 victory coming in Indian Wells.
21 y/o Tsitsipas had strong showings in the years first 2 slams, with a semi-final result at the Australian Open announcing him as a genuine top 10 contender. He won 2 titles in 2019, 1 on hard court and 1 on clay, and he reached the final of a Masters 1000 event in Madrid.
How They Got Here:
Both gentlemen have fared impressively so far at the ATP Finals. Dominic had a fairly decent start to the week… casually downing Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in back-to-back victories. Not bad, huh? Thiem impressed with an absurd amount of power and heavy topspin from the back of the court and his victory over Djokovic will probably be 2019’s match of the year. This guy has mind-blowing power from both wings on groundstrokes. He did drop his next match to Matteo Berrettini, but he showed it was an anomaly when he bounced back to defeat Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals.
Greece’s boy wonder, Tsitsipas, also began his campaign with back-to-back victories over red-hot Daniil Medvedev, and Alexander Zverev. He dropped his 3rd match to world no. 1 Rafael Nadal who ground, grunted and blasted his way to victory. Tsitsipas quite easily dispatched the GOAT, Roger Federer, in the semi-finals.
Head To Head:
Dominic leads the pair’s head to head 4-2, with his most recent victory coming last month in the China Open final. On hard court, Thiem leads the head to head 3-1.
The 3 set victory for Thiem in the China Open final was played in fairly similar conditions to the O2 Arena in London. The key to this match-up lies in the defensive shortcomings of Tsitsipas. Stefanos is an unbelievable mover for his height, but the heavy onslaught of power and spin that comes off Thiem’s racquet has already dispatched the best mover in tennis, Novak Djokovic, this week. Thiem has definitely stepped up a level in London, and must be seeing it like a beach-ball because he is taking massive cuts at the ball and hitting bigger than we have ever seen. Stefanos is going to have to use his incredible variety to keep Dominic off balance and limit how much he can hurt him through the court. Tsitsipas will also have to serve unbelievably well, and look to continue his break-point saving form from his semi-final victory over Federer (saved 11 of 12 break-points).
Ultimately, we feel that the absurd amount of power and aggression that Dominic is showcasing this week is going to be too much for Stefanos to handle.
Dominic Thiem 2-1