Dominic Thiem earned his first Argentina Open title Sunday in Buenos Aires, defeating Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6 (4).
TennisTV shared an image of the celebratory Thiem after the match:
The Austrian's victory broke the Argentine and Spanish dynasty in Buenos Aires, as Josh Meiseles of ATPWorldTour.com noted:
His victory hardly came easily, however.
Thiem and Almagro battled through the first set, with neither player able to break serve. Indeed, each player's service game loomed large early in the match, as Almagro ripped five aces in the first set and Thiem countered with three of his own.
Thiem, 22, did take advantage of Almagro's less effective second serve, however, winning 11 of Almagro's 16 second-serve points in the first set. Eventually, he won the first-set tiebreaker, 7-2, putting himself in the driver's seat for the title.
It was Almagro who earned the match's first break point, though, ultimately breaking Thiem twice in the second set to send the match to a third.
Almagro kept Thiem on his toes in the second set, creating five break chances in total. He pounced on second serves in the second set, winning 10 of Thiem's 13 second-serve points.
Almagro appeared to be in control heading into the third set, holding serve in the first game before breaking Thiem in the second. But Thiem immediately returned the favor before holding serve himself, evening the match at two games apiece.
Thiem had a break point in the fifth game but failed to convert, as Almagro rallied to hold serve. From there, the pair continued to hold serve, setting up the match's second tiebreaker.
Almagro won the first two points in the tiebreaker, but Thiem took over from there, winning seven of the next nine points to take home the title. His four aces and ability to win 72 percent of his first-service points played a huge factor in the third set.
For Thiem, winning his first Argentina Open title is a huge accomplishment, and this triumph surely felt like a stepping stone toward bigger and better feats. After all, he beat Rafael Nadal on clay in the semifinals, something that has proved to be nearly impossible for most opponents over the years.
Thiem is building a reputation. The No. 19 player in the world is one of the rising young stars in the game and will certainly be a sleeper to watch for at the French Open, as it appears clay is his favored surface.
Chris Oddo of Tennis Now believes he will be a dominant player on clay:
As for Almagro, winning a title would have capped off a fantastic tournament that also saw him finally beat David Ferrer for the first time, breaking a 15-match losing streak against the talented Spaniard. Nonetheless, he played excellent tennis throughout and took Thiem to the absolute limit.
It wasn't the final tennis fans were expecting, but it certainly turned out to be one they greatly enjoyed.
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