Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will play on Sunday for the Nitto ATP Finals title, have already participated six occasions of their FedEx ATP Head2Head sequence (Thiem leads Four-2) and had been teammates of the Wash for Crew Europe.
However their relationship started in 2016 in a way more indeterminate place – a court docket of follow at The O2. Thiem debuted on the Nitto ATP Finals, and Tsitsipas was a baby-faced exercise associate, wide-eyed and impressed by one of the best ATP gamers.
If Tsitsipas thought then, on the age of 18, that he can be enjoying the sport for the ultimate title of the season solely three years later, he can be the one finalist from 2019 to have such confidence.
" It's an unbelievable story for each of us, as a result of most likely the 2 of us didn’t assume that three years later we’d face one another within the remaining," Thiem mentioned.
"A bit extra and I’ll find yourself enjoying with all of the gamers within the remaining of the ATP World Tour."
C & # 39; was @StefTsitsipas in 2016 as a hanging associate of @ThiemDomi.
Tomorrow, the 2 males will face one another on this yr's finals?
?: Stefanos Tsitsipas (IG) | # NittoATPFinals pic.twitter.com/kJCv3nyxQr
– ATP Tour (@atptour) November 16, 2019
The Austrian secured his place in his first title sport towards the Nitto ATP Finals with a 7-5, 6-Three win over defending champion Alexander Zverev on Saturday evening. Tsitsipas beat Saturday six occasions Roger Federer, six-time champion, 6-Four.
" He actually deserves it. This can be a good particular person. It's an excellent participant with a really enticing type to observe, so it's good to have it, "mentioned Thiem about Tsitsipas. "We’re having a very good day trip of court docket. However as soon as we now have taken the sphere, it's a battle and we neglect our friendships for 2 or three hours. »
The 26-year-old turned his consideration to the extent of Tsitsipas throughout his follow and was much more impressed final yr by enjoying for the primary time on the ATP circuit.
" There I noticed and I additionally felt his unbelievable potential. Then, by the tip of the yr  he already had quantity 14 or 15 and everybody might then see the place he was heading, solely up, solely in absolute world class, "Thiem mentioned.
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Ultimate preview: Will Thiem or Tsitsipas win their greatest title to date?
Profitable the Nitto ATP Finals title can be the largest title for one or the opposite participant, which might even be a radical enchancment over the tip of the season when everybody Between them had completed the season.
Thiem completed 1-2 in group play and didn’t qualify for the semifinals within the season finale for the third yr in a row. Tsitsipas gained the ultimate of the following technology ATP 2018 in Milan (deceased De Minaur).
In truth, earlier than this season, Thiem had gained 11 titles, however solely two on onerous floor. This yr, nonetheless, Thiem has gained 5 titles, together with three on onerous floor, and he might add his greatest file on Sunday.
" I made just a few adjustments all year long. Like my forehand, I’ve somewhat shortened the motion, which helps me particularly on the quickest surfaces. After which I've additionally made some small adjustments to the service, after which I come again, "mentioned Thiem.
" I actually hope to have the ability to proceed my glorious degree of tennis in 2020 and I now have the sensation that my sport is absolutely getting into the correct path."