Matteo Berrettini of Italy celebrates after winning match point against Dominic Thiem of Austria during their ATP World Tour Finals singles tennis match at the O2 Arena on Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali
Matteo Berrettini of Italy celebrates after winning match point against Dominic Thiem of Austria during their ATP World Tour Finals singles tennis match at the O2 Arena on Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali

Berrettini signs off with victory over Thiem at the O2

By Martyn Herman Time of article published Nov 14, 2019

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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.

Dominic Thiem congratulates Matteo Berrettini after their match on Thursday. Photo: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

Berrettini served for the first set at 5-4 after breaking the Thiem serve to love in the previous game, but a netted volley handed back the break.

The Italian dominated the tiebreak and grew in confidence in the second set as Thiem, suffering with a cold, failed to repeat the dazzling form he displayed when beating Djokovic in a three-set thriller on Tuesday.

A running backhand pass gave him a break for 4-2 in the second set and he closed out the win in dominant fashion.

Despite losing on Thursday, Thiem has won the group and will be joined in the semi-finals by either Djokovic or Federer who clash for the 49th time in an evening blockbuster. 

Reuters

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