LONDON – Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian to win a match in ATP Finals history as he signed off with a 7-6 (3) 6-3 defeat of off-colour Dominic Thiem at the O2 Arena on Thursday.
The afternoon tussle was a little flat as Thiem had already sealed a place in the semi-finals after group wins against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, while Berrettini could not progress.
But the powerful 23-year-old Berrettini, making his debut at the tournament, produced some eye-catching tennis to make sure he heads home with a morale-boosting win.
The 200 ranking points and $215,000 for the group stage win capped a stunning year for Berrettini who was outside the top 50 in January but will end the season ranked eighth.
The only other Italians to qualify for the elite season-ender were Corrado Barazzutti in 1978 and Adriano Panatta in 1975 and neither managed to win a match.