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Dominic Thiem powers past Daniil Medvedev to win Barcelona Open title

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 28 Apr 2019
  • Dominic Thiem recovered from a slow start to beat Daniil Medvedev in the Barcelona Open final on Sunday
  • 13th career title for Thiem, 9th on clay
Dominic Thiem. (Photo by: © Matthias OesterleZUMA Wire)

Dominic Thiem won the Barcelona Open title with a dominant 6-4 6-0 victory over Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.

Thiem recovered from a 0-3 deficit to take 12 of the next 13 games, claiming his second title of the season, and the 13th of his career.

Nine of Thiem's 13 titles have come on clay, but this is his first at ATP 500 level on European soil, making it his biggest clay-court title in Europe. The Austrian becomes the second man after Roger Federer to win multiple titles this season, adding the Barcelona crown to his Indian Wells success from earlier in the year. He is also the first man from his country to win in Barcelona since Thomas Muster emerged champion in 1996.

Victory over the in-form Medvedev completed a superb week for the 25-year-old, which included a brilliant 6-4 6-4 victory over 11-time champion, Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. He won the title without dropping a set, beating Diego Schwartzman, Jaume Munar, Guido Pella, Nadal, and Medvedev in a high-quality campaign.

“Winning this means a lot to me because it’s such a traditional and special tournament,” said Thiem. “Only great players have won here. Rafa has won it 11 times and it means a lot that Muster won it twice. It’s a big moment for me."

Medvedev made the faster start on Sunday, converting his third break point in a lengthy second game, and backing it up with a solid hold to open up a 3-0 lead, but Thiem slowly weaved his way back into the match.

Taking pace off the ball with his backhand slice, and simultaneously dragging Medvedev off his favoured position behind the baseline, Thiem began to find holes in the Russia's game. It was a series of backhand slices that got the error which earned Thiem the break back, and once parity was restored, Thiem imposed himself on the match, exhibiting the different dimensions of his game. The slice continued to be a prominent feature, but so was the heavy top-spin forehand, and the assuredness of his touch. Medvedev encountered some physical problems as the match wore on, and while he would have been more competitive has he been 100% fit, he would have still found it extremely difficult to contain an in-form Thiem, who simply had too much game for the Russian on this surface.

Thiem won the next five games to open up a 5-3 lead, and had set point with Medvedev serving, but the Russian dug out a hold to stay in the set, stopping the run of games against him. Medvedev received treatment for a right shoulder injury during the changeover, but he would not win another game after that.

Thiem unfurled a heavy forehand into the corner to close out the opener, and as the Medvedev errors began to mount, the world No. 5 motored through the rest of the match, claiming victory in an hour and 13 minutes.

Thiem has arguably been the second best player on clay, behind Nadal, in the last couple of seasons, and is widely seen as the heir apparent to Nadal on the surface; his performances in Barcelona will only strengthen the believe that he will one day become the French Open champion.

He has been to the semi-finals in each of the last three seasons, losing to Nadal in the 2018 final. 

The Austrian is next scheduled to compete at the Madrid Open, where he will attempt to claim his maiden Masters 1000 title on clay.

“A title like this always gives you a lot of confidence, so I’ll be in a good mood going into Madrid. But the special thing about tennis is that I’ll start from zero in Madrid,” said Thiem. “All the guys there are really strong, so I’ll need to be ready from the first point".

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Dominic Thiem powers past Daniil Medvedev to win Barcelona Open title

Dominic Thiem recovered from a slow start to beat Daniil Medvedev in the Barcelona Open final on Sunday.

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