© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Matteo Berrettini finished with a 1-2 record in Group Bjorn Borg at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Berrettini Makes History With Thiem Win In London

Italian prevails on Thursday

Matteo Berrettini may not have advanced out of Group Bjorn Borg, but he made history on Thursday at the Nitto ATP Finals. The Italian defeated Dominic Thiem 7-6(3), 6-3 and became the first Italian to win a singles match at the season-ending championships.

”I’m really proud of myself, but more for my team, my family, my friends. It’s been an unbelievable season,” Berrettini said. “I didn’t expect to be here at the beginning of the season. I hope to come back here next year.”

Berrettini finished with a 1-2 record this week. Thiem had already qualified for the semi-finals after his win on Tuesday against Novak Djokovic.

”I always had great fights against [Thiem]. I was able to stay mentally focussed, especially in the first set,” Berrettini said. “I played a great tie-break, so I’m very happy with my performance.”

Berrettini arrived in London at a career-high No. 8 in the ATP Rankings after starting the season outside of the Top 50. His highlights this year include ATP Tour titles in Budapest (d. Krajinovic) and Stuttgart (d. Auger-Aliassime), a maiden Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open and first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final in Shanghai.

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He struck first in the opening set and ripped a forehand passing shot past Thiem for a 5-4 lead, but missed his chance to serve out the set and dumped a routine forehand volley into the net. The 23-year-old regrouped strongly by winning the first four points of the tie-break and pumped his first after an ace on set point.

The Italian maintained his momentum in the second set and broke Thiem with a forehand winner for a 4-2 lead. Three games later, a delicate drop shot from Berrettini wrapped up play after 76 minutes.