Sensational Stefanos comes back from a set down to win the Nitto ATP Finals

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Sensational Stefanos comes back from a set down to win the Nitto ATP Finals 

Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday won the fourth title of his career and the biggest he has won so far. He’s the first-ever Greek champion in the history of the season-ending championships. The 2018 Next Gen champion defeated Dominic Thiem in a thriller 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4) over two hours and 35 minutes in the Nitto ATP Finals at the O2 in London. The 21 years old Greek tennis player becomes the youngest winner of the ATP Finals since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001. Tsitsipas yesterday added to the six tennis players to have ever won the title on their debut. 

Nitto ATP Finals Debutants to win the Title: 

Tsitsipas 2019
Dimitrov 2017
Alex Corretja 1998
John McEnroe1978
Guille Vilas 1974
Ilie Nastase 1971
Stan Smith 1970

Stefanos Tsitsipas had so much to say after his victory over Thiem: “I have no clue how I played so well in the second set, I have no idea. I think my mind was at ease and I wasn’t really thinking much, which led to such a great performance in the second set, breaking him twice. I didn’t give him many options to play within 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 to believe 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.”

Dominic Thiem, on the other hand, was the stand-out player during the season-ending tournament. He defeated Djokovic, Federer and last year ATP Finals winner (Zverev) on his road to the final against Tsitsipas. Even till the final the two times French Open runner-up (Thiem) was still impressive, winning the first set and forcing Tsitsipas to a deciding third set before eventually losing to the Greek champion. 

It’s actually the third time since 2002 that none of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic reached the final and while it may not seem as a changing of the guard in the game, the past week has felt like a momentum shift for the new generation. 

Olanrewaju Olakunle
Olanrewaju Olakunle
Contributor: Olanrewaju is a Nigerian, graduate of Geology and Mineral Sciences. a Mobile Developer, Technical Writer and a Sports Analyst Follow Olanrewaju on Twitter - @___Cdf