The 50th final of the ATP World Tour Finals had two players who will be around at the top of the game for some time. They may not be the usual suspects at the very top of mens tennis but they will be here for some time.
It is the first time since Miami in 2010 that an event entered by all of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal finished without one of them in the final which is quite spectacular.
Debutant Stefanos Tsitsipas was the youngest finalist on debut since Del Potro in 2009 and Dominic Thiem finally after three attempts made it out of the group stage with some quite incredible tennis.
Nerves, what nerves?
Both players came out for this one all guns blazing. Holds of serve to love settled the two players who would go about their business quite steadily on serve for the opening six games, level at 3-3.
Chances arose for both players in the next service games with break points on offer but the level of tennis to get themselves out of trouble with some good serve/volley play was exceptional.
After ten games it was 5-5 but it was Tsitsipas looking the more likely with Thiem being a little erratic at times but nothing to put him into too much trouble.
Another sloppy start to a game from Thiem had him concerned at 0-30 but got himself out of it again taking the first set to a tie-break!
It was Dominic Thiem who pressed for a 5-2 lead but was pegged back to 5-5. A long and wildcard backhand from the Greek set up a set point at 6-5 and an unreturned serve sealed the set for the Austrian.
Dominic Thiem flirted with danger a couple of times in the first set down 0-30 but this time and immediately at the beginning of set two was finally broken!
Thiem had checked out, poor net play from the Austrian and the 26 year old won just 2 of 18 points as he fell 0-4 down.
One thing about Stefanos Tsitsipas is he never gives up and a third set after a sprint to a 6-2 scoreline was on the cards next.
The quest for Thiem would be to up his level as Stefanos is tough to shift and a 7 minutes, 7 seconds game saving double break point saw him ahead but a quick hold to love levelled the final set.
During the first set I said the Austrian was flirting with that 0-30 scoreline and this time got caught out with Tsitsipas breaking to lead 2-1.
In deciding sets on hardcourts in 2019 coming into this final set Dominic Thiem had an 11-0 win-loss record and Tsitsipas was 9-9 but a love hold for a 3-1 lead looked like ending Thiem’s run.
Just as the match looked to be swinging one way a swinging backhand from Tsitsipas gifted the break back to the Austrian.
9 of the last 11 points went the way of Thiem who from 1-3 down was back at 4-3.
No more twists or turns for a couple of games as at 4-5 Stefanos cruised through a 67 second service game to level at 5-5.
0-15, serving to stay in the match. How are your nerves?
Too much pushing from Dominic Thiem and it would go to a deciding set tie-break!
Here is how it unfolded!
1-3 (BH wide from Thiem)
1-4 (BH into the net from Thiem)
3-4 Tsitsipas (2 points won on Stefanos’ serve)
4-5 Tsitsipas (FH long from Thiem)
4-6 Tsitsipas (FH error, Thiem head in hands)
He did it! 6-7 6-2 7-6! Stefanos Tsitsipas is the ATP World Tour Finals Champion!