Thiem Triumphs On Home Soil In Kitzbühel

Austrian captures third title of the year

Five years after reaching his maiden ATP Tour final at the Generali Open, Dominic Thiem defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6(0), 6-1 to lift his first title on home soil at the ATP 250 event.

“It is already one of my most beautiful moments ever in my tennis career,” said Thiem. “It was one of the most emotional moments because I have a special connection with Kitzbühel. I was here for the first time when I was six on this huge centre court. I was watching the tournament many times.

“I got my first wild card here and now to finish the tournament as the champion is incredible. I reached one big childhood goal today.”

The World No. 4, who fell in three sets to David Goffin in the 2014 championship match, saved all six break points he faced to overcome the Gstaad champion after one hour and 38 minutes. Thiem is only the second Austrian player to lift the title in Kitzbühel, following in the footsteps of former World No. 1 and 1993 champion Thomas Muster.

Thiem also joins his coach, Nicolas Massu, as a champion at the clay-court tournament. Massu beat Gaston Gaudio of Argentina to lift the trophy in 2004.

The 25-year-old, who improves to 28-11 this season, has claimed three titles from four tour-level championship matches in 2019. Thiem lifted his maiden ATP Masters 1000 trophy at the BNP Paribas Open (d. Federer) and also triumphed at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Medvedev), before falling to Rafael Nadal in his second straight final at Roland Garros in June.

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In a marathon first set, which featured an extended rain delay at 4-5, Thiem was forced to save five break points en route to a tie-break. From there, the World No. 4 raised his level to extract crucial errors from his opponent and earn a 6/0 lead. Thiem wrapped up the set after 68 minutes by firing a forehand winner down the line.

The 14-time tour-level titlist rode the momentum into the second set, dropping just two of the opening 14 points to establish a 3-0 lead. Thiem returned with height and depth from behind the baseline to neutralise rallies, before stepping in to dictate play as Ramos-Vinolas committed forehand errors.

A second break followed for Thiem and the Austrian captured the title on his first championship point to the delight of the home crowd. The top seed collapsed to the clay as Ramos-Vinolas fired a forehand return beyond the baseline.

“It was Austrian weather, so I am used to that,” said Thiem. “Maybe I had a little advantage [over] Albert.

“I think he played really good, but he has had a tough two weeks so maybe he got a little bit tired… When I got the tie-break, where I played well with no mistakes, I think the match went in my direction.”

Ramos-Vinolas was aiming to win his second title in as many weeks on the ATP Tour. Last week, the Spaniard did not drop a set en route to his second tour-level crown at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad.

“I think it was a great week,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “Obviously, after winning a title last week, I arrived here a little bit late and a little bit tired but I think I put my 100 per cent [into the week].”

Thiem receives 250 ATP Ranking points and collects €90,390 in prize money. Ramos-Vinolas gains 150 ATP Ranking points and earns €48,870.

“Today is obviously not the best day for me, but I lost against a great opponent on his best surface, in his country, with all the crowd with him,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “So, I think that it has been a great week for me.”