Tsitsipas rallies for thrilling comeback victory over Thiem


Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday completed a dramatic comeback against Dominic Thiem with victory in a third-set tie-break at the Madrid Open.
In a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) triumph, the Greek used a flawless serving performance to shift the tone of the match. The Greek won 88% (50/57) of his total first-serve points in the two hours and 19 minutes of play by hitting 39 consecutive first serves from late in the first set to the beginning of the third.
The last man in the Madrid singles draw to book his third-round ticket, Tsitsipas will next face 25th seed Sebastian Baez, who beat Marcos Giron 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 earlier on Saturday.
Thiem slowed Tsitsipas’ progress in the first set with an aggressive strategy centred on powerful forehand wing cuts. The Austrian held off three break points to maintain his early break and establish a 4-1 advantage on the way to winning the opening set.
Tsitsipas dominated the second set behind his excellent serving as Thiem’s forehand started to struggle. The Greek extended his advantage with a flurry of well-placed drop shots.
With the match on the line, both players played some of their finest tennis in Thiem’s penultimate service game, which helped him maintain the lead throughout the final set. Thiem survived after five doubles and more than 11 minutes. However, Tsitsipas won four straight games to take a 5/3 advantage in the tie-break and win on his second match point.
“That’s fantastic, 39 is a lot. That shows that perhaps I improved today on my serve. That’s a positive mark for me.