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Dominic Thiem edges past Bernard Tomic for Acapulco crown

684   //    28 Feb 2016, 21:07 IST
Dominic Thiem with the Acapulco trophy
Dominic Thiem with the Acapulco trophy

The fast-rising Dominic Thiem underlined his talent even further by capturing his maiden ATP 500 title at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco on Saturday. Riding on 22 aces, the 22-year-old Austrian edged past Bernard Tomic 7-6(6), 4-6, 6-3 in 1 hour 56 minutes for his first title on hardcourts and his fifth career triumph overall.

Thiem thus ended the month of February on a high after going an incredible 13-1 during the Latin American swing, winning titles in Buenos Aires and Acapulco and losing in semi-finals of Rio. This also makes him the current ATP Tour leader with 18 match victories already this year.

“It was unbelievable. These three weeks have been amazing. Winning my first 500 title and first hard-court title, it was just perfect. It was how a final should be, between two young and up-and-coming players. I hope we’re going to play many more finals together. Both of us wanted to win so badly and I’m happy I was the one today,” said the champion.

It was, however, the Australian who had the brighter start and led 3-1 in the opening set. Thiem struck right back when Tomic was about to serve for the set, breaking him to love and grabbed the set himself in a tie-break.

The momentum shifted Tomic’s way after that as he pocketed the second set and then made in-roads into the Austrian’s game early in the decider. But the determined Thiem broke back immediately and then won six of the next eight games to claim the trophy.

Thiem’s latest triumph will propel him to a career-high ranking of 14 next week.

Stephens claims the women’s title

Sloane stephens with the Acapulco trophy
Sloane Stephens with the Acapulco trophy

The women’s final witnessed a riveting final between 2014 winner Dominika Cibulkova and second seed Sloane Stephens, with the American winning 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5) eventually. This is the 22-year-old’s third career WTA title and her second of the season.

Stephens was the one who had the early advantage and led comfortably by a set and a break before the Slovak staged a spirited fightback. The tightly-contested decider saw a tie-break ensuing in which Stephens surged to a 5-2 lead. Cibulkova once again fought hard to save three match points before a forehand error from her awarded the title to Stephens.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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