From Milan to London, the young Stefanos Tsitsipas continues to grow. If a year ago he beat with the teenagers in the experimental test tube of the NextGen Finals, this has offered an unbeatable presentation with the elderly. Dominic Thiem was imposed by 6-7, 6-2 and 7-6 (in 2h 35m) and re-issued another warning in the majestic O2: it is coming, it is coming. The future is here? Maybe yes, or maybe not now. But he will be there when the door definitely opens. The Greek, 21, managed in his debut teacher the most important trophy and became the earliest to win the Masters since Lleyton Hewitt did in 2001, with 20 years and nine months. And, by the way, he did it before an exceptional adversary.
Yesterday, after all, the two players who had proposed the most throughout the week were measured. Thiem came, neither more nor less, than to bend Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, installing a bomber at the bottom line and percussing from there with the violence that characterizes his blows. Along the same lines, but with more subtlety in the shot, Tsitsipas had also completed a brilliant path on the way to the final, also defeating the Swiss and demanding Rafael Nadal until the last breath. The two meritorious, in any case, because together with Daniil Medvedev they pose the most real resistance to the three dominators of the circuit.
The Austrian is an accomplished specialist in clay, but little by little he discovers more ins and outs of the cement record; not surprisingly, in this final stretch of autumn he has raised two trophies, Beijing and Vienna, and in March Indian Wells had already been awarded, then three of the five titles he has won in 2019 have been in rapid. Meanwhile, the Greek has been performing since he poked his head as a more versatile player, dangerous in virtually all fields. His right and reverse are less harmful, but he has no technical gaps and an extra component of boldness that allows him to face critical situations without fear.
In the seven London days he faced several, like those 11 balls of break which annulled Federer in the semifinals and knots that Medvedev brought on the day of its premiere. And this Sunday, the same. Thiem cornered him by taking a very balanced first set, but he did not wrinkle and in the second round he went out for equality; intelligent, the Austrian decided to get out of the mud because he had granted two breaks and the manga painted more than difficult, so it saved strength and ammunition. Everything was going to be necessary for a resolution that passed over the wire, deciding in millimeters because each stake of the one answered the other.
Beyond their tennis, both possess in the gift of conviction. Noted by colleagues and technicians, they both exhibit an exemplary attitude in the middle of a panorama in which the youngsters of the circuit, with too many birds on their heads in some cases, tend to disperse very easily. They work piecework and believe, indispensable recipe to make the big leap. And, above all, both are able to mature with patience and head; they respect the cycles and they are putting themselves in the ideal disposition to occupy the golden space that the colossi will offer sooner or later.
Part Thiem, 26, of an intermediate generation that has stayed a little in no man's land, with a squad of day laborers who did not appear young and appear in several galaxies of the Big three; The Athenian, meanwhile, brings light to the new batch and illuminates the horizon with its flashes. He has already beaten Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, and in January he stirred up the stagnant waters of the greats with the Melbourne semifinals.
This Sunday, after another exercise of temperance and determination, he surpassed Thiem practically over the photo-finish. The Austrian sinned with acceleration, on a setback and on a right, and self-asserted. The final exchange was perhaps more intense than beautiful (7-4), and after that last long ball Tsitsipas dropped his racket, the loud Greek fans exhibited broke the palms you were and the teachers They opened the door to a new member of only 21 years. From one stretch to another, Tsitsipas is building a site. And tennis is in luck.