Thiem Sprints Past Medvedev To Clinch Barcelona Title

Austrian wins ninth ATP Tour title on clay

Dominic Thiem started slowly and finished brilliantly on Sunday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. The third seed went down an early break to seventh seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia, but won 12 of the last 13 games to take the title 6-4, 6-0.

The Austrian became just the fourth player in the past 15 years to lift the title in Barcelona, joining Rafael Nadal, Kei Nishikori and Fernando Verdasco. He’s also the first Austrian winner at this event since Thomas Muster in 1996. Thiem now has 13 ATP Tour titles, nine of which have come on clay.

“Winning this means a lot to me because it’s such a traditional and special tournament,” said Thiem. “Only great players have won here. Rafa has won it 11 times and it means a lot that Muster won it twice. It’s a big moment for me."

Thiem was at the top of the game from the first ball this week. He raced to the title without dropping a set and made headlines with his semi-final upset over 11-time Barcelona champion Nadal. Thiem became the first player to ever beat Nadal in the semi-finals or beyond at this event and picked up his fourth clay-court win over the three-time defending champion. 

His current form will make him one of the favourites when he competes next at the Mutua Madrid Open. Thiem has been the runner-up in Madrid for the past two years.

“A title like this always gives you a lot of confidence, so I’ll be in a good mood going into Madrid. But the special thing about tennis is that I’ll start from zero in Madrid,” said Thiem. “All the guys there are really strong, so I’ll need to be ready from the first point.”

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Despite the loss, Medvedev has plenty of positives to take from his start to the clay season. The Russian is 8-2 on clay this year after also reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final last week at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Lajovic). The World No. 14 in the ATP Rankings has reached at least the semi-finals in five of his nine ATP Tour events this season and won more matches (25) than anyone else in 2019.

“I tried my best, but Dominic was too good,” said Medvedev. “At one point today, even just getting a point off him was a great achievement.” 

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Medvedev started the match in perfect form. He mixed up the pace and depth on his shots to get Thiem out of his rhythm and earned a 3-0 lead. But once Thiem found his footing, he used his forehand to create angles that pushed Medvedev off the court and opened up ample opportunities for winners. Thiem went on a five-game run and fired an aggressive forehand to wrap up the opening set.

The backlog of matches this week finally caught up with Medvedev, who took a medical timeout at 4-5 in the opening set for treatment on his right shoulder. Thiem dominated the second set, dropping just five points and going on a 14-point run at one stage. A forehand volley winner on his first championship point wrapped up the contest after 73 minutes.

Thiem picked up 500 ATP Rankings points and a cheque for €503,015. Medvedev earned 300 ATP Rankings points and €253,000.

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