Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Dominic Thiem on Sunday in the championship match of the Nitto ATP Finals, with both players looking to capture their first title in the year-end tournament.
Tsitsipas defeated Roger Federer to make his way into the final, while Thiem got past defending champion Alexander Zverev.
Tsitsipas Hangs Tough to Outlast Federer
Federer had his chances against Tsitsipas, but the Greek youngster was able to save 11 of 12 break points on his way to capturing a 6-3, 6-4 win over the 20-time major champion.
The win denied Federer a chance to build on his record six ATP Finals titles, and gave Tsitsipas a chance to play for his most prestigious crown yet.
“I’m proud of myself, how hard I fought today, how concentrated I stayed in the break points,” Tsitsipas said after the match. “Didn’t crack under pressure. I was very composed and very mature in my decisions.”
The result means that none of tennis’ “Big Three” – made up of Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal – will win the ATP Finals, with Federer being the only one of the three to even reach the semifinal round.
That led to questions over whether the old guard of men’s tennis should be prepared to finally be usurped in 2020.
“It’s the same question every year at the end of the year,” Federer said. “But then I look at the list of who finished world No. 1, who has been world No. 1 all these years, and it’s just crazy that it’s always one of us. But we are not getting any younger. So chances increase not because we are getting worse but because they are getting better.”
Nadal earned his fifth career No. 1 year-end ranking this season, matching Djokovic and Federer. One of the three has finished at No. 1 each year since 2004, with the exception of 2016, when Andy Murray earned that honor.
Thiem Ends Zvervev ATP Finals Title Defense
In the second ATP Finals semfinal match, Thiem earned a 7-5, 6-3 win over Zverev to deny the German a chance to defend his title. Zverev never quite seemed to be in the match, losing the first set on a double fault before Thiem broke midway through the second set and never looked back.
“This is just a big, big dream coming true for me,” Thiem said afterwards. “It’s unreal to me. To beat the defending champion, a good player, an unbelievable player, this is always a great achievement and I’m very, very happy.”
The results set up a final that will produce a first-time winner for the ATP Finals for the fourth consecutive year. In their head-to-head history, Thiem has a 4-2 edge, winning their only matchup in Beijing last month by a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 score.
That has made Thiem a very small favorite heading into the match. According to Betway, Thiem is a 4/5 pick to win the ATP Finals crown, while Tsitsipas can be backed at 1/1.