Dominic Thiem Wins First ATP 500 Title With Defeat of Tomic in Acapulco
Dominic Thiem (4) took home the ATP 500 Acapulco title with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 defeat of Bernard Tomic (5). Here are five points to note about his trophy win, his first ATP 500 title and his first one on hard courts .
Thiem once again showed his fighting spirit as he came back from behind in the two sets he won.
The Acapulco final between Thiem and Tomic was expected to be a close one. Thiem was in great form and Tomic is a skilled hard court player with 3 titles on the surface (Sydney 2014, 2015, Sydney 2013) on his resume. This first encounter between the 22 year old fourth seeded Austrian and the 23 year old fifth seeded Australian did not let us down and gave us an exciting glimpse into what may be the future of the ATP one day.
Tomic started the stronger of the two as he took a 5-2 first set lead, but Thiem has shown plenty of fighting qualities the last few weeks- he beat Nadal in a third set tiebreak in Buenos Aires, saving a match point on the way, and then beat Nicolas Almagro in another third set breaker in the final- and displayed those battling qualities once again in the final.
The Austrian fought back to take the first set on a tiebreaker (8-6) and then when Tomic took the momentum to take the second set 6-4 and lead 1-0 in the final set, Thiem never gave up and got himself back into the match.
In a match between two in-form players with plenty of versatility and enough game to trouble the other, this Acapulco title contest was always going to be decided on the mental side of things, and Thiem, the more stable of the two in general, was the winner in that department while Tomic was unable to hold on to his leads.
Once Thiem broke back, held and then broke Tomic to get a 3-1 lead in the third set, the Austrian managed to hold onto it and his clutchness on serve is what made the crucial difference in a closely contested match.
At 5-3, Thiem served out for what would be his biggest title yet, and he did it to love and sealed championship point with an ace.
Watch Thiem seal the win in the tweet below.
— TennisTV (@TennisTV) February 28, 2016
Acapulco is Thiem’s first hard court title
In 2015, Thiem won 3 clay ATP 250 titles, and won another one this season in Buenos Aires. But going into Acapulco, he was not so accomplished on other surfaces and had not even been to a hard-court final with his best result being semi-final finishes at St Petersburg and Sydney, both results coming in the last six months.
Thiem’s serve is a weapon on any surface
One factor why Thiem is doing better on hard courts is his service game. In the Acapulco final, he hit 22 aces, had a first serve percentage of 78, won 82% behind that delivery, and won 8/19 of his second serves.
Thiem’s controlled aggressive game also helped him conquer hard courts- he hit 45 winners to 33 errors compiling an impressive +17 differential. Tomic, meanwhile, went 27-35, a -7 differential.
Watch highlights of the Acapulco final in the video below
Thiem is now ranked a career high of 14
Thiem is the youngest member of the top 20 aged 22 and with 2,430 points is only 20 points behind Milos Raonic, the 2nd youngest. He also has just 595 points to defend between now and the French Open so if he can maintain his recent form, he could climb further up the rankings and into the 9-12 seedings which would protect him from facing one of the top four ranked players at the slam he is most touted to one day win.
Thiem is 18-4 for 2016 and ranked 3 in the race to London
Thiem has gone SF-3r-W-SF-W in 2016 so far and we still have the slow hard courts of the North American Spring swing and the red clay European stretch to come. Last year a less developed Thiem made the last eight of the Sony Open so with the spring in his step his recent run should give him, the next few months is looking very bright for the young Austrian.
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