Dominic Thiem has reached the final of the Erste Bank Open at Vienna’s Stadthalle for the first time in his career by beating Matteo Berrettini (ITA/3) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Italian dominates first set
Berrettini was the dominant man from the first rally in the opener, breaking Thiem early. Thiem showed great spirit, battled back and eventually got the re-break in the only game in which Berrettini struggled with his service. For a few moments it looked like Thiem would gain the upper hand but Berrettini found his service again, breaking Thiem twice to win the set 6-3. “Of my four matches this week this was surely the weakest start. It was just not enough for how good he is playing right now”, Thiem knew.
Thiem strikes back
In the second set, Berrettini again served like a machine, while Thiem was continuing to struggle on serve. At 2-2 Berrettini had his first weaker service game, allowing for a 0-40, but saved all three break points before Thiem was able to convert his fourth. It was the first time in the match that Thiem led with a break. However, Berrettini found a way to come back, re-breaking Thiem to make it 4-4. However, this time Thiem didn’t back down, broke Berrettini again and won the second set 7-5. Thiem about his comeback: “I knew that I had to be ready for the second set and that’s what i was. After the break in the second I knew that I could win this match. The rebreak didn’t change anything about this.”
Battle to the end
In the third set the match was not for the faint of heart. Thiem finally found his service strength but missed on several breach points. He finally broke Berrettini to make it 4-3 only to face a 0:30 in his next service game. But Thiem made four consecutive points and then converted his second match point. The Italian was finally taken down. Also because of the fantastic crowd, as Thiem knew: “That was the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in. It was incredibly loud and I already said yesterday that the crowd can push you so much. It is such fun to play here and it really helps. It’s such a gigantic push when you break your opponent or hold your own service. It also helps for the next match.”
Berrettini applauds: “Bravo”
“I’ve played a great match. In the beginning I was the better player. But he raised his level, especially from the second part of the second set. He is the stronger player and he has more experience. And we played in Vienna, his city. I can only say ‘Bravo”. I’ve given my best.