Dominic Thiem claimed his second ATP title of the season and first at a 500-level event. The fourth seed won a back and forth affair over Bernard Tomic in three sets to claim the title at the Abierto Mexicano Telecel.
Thiem Rallies Back From Early Break
Fifth seed Bernard Tomic looked in control in the opening set of the final in Acapulco. The Aussie struck quickly with a break of Dominic Thiem's serve as the Austrian sent a forehand out in the fourth game to hand Tomic a 3-1 advantage. Tomic would consolidate the break as he raced to a 4-1 lead. Thiem would stay in the set mentally as the two traded holds from there to give Tomic a chance to serve out the set at 5-3. The fourth seed pounced on a poor service game from the Aussie as he broke at-love and evened the set at 5-5 with a hold. The Austrian would reel off 12 straight points in the process.
Both players would get through holds to send the opener into a decisive tiebreak. In the breaker, Tomic held the upper hand at the changeover with a 4-2 lead. Thiem would turn that around by the time they got to the second changeover with the score knotted at six. The Austrian would snare a point off the Tomic serve and then close out on serve for an 8-6 margin in the tiebreak.
Tomic Saves Five Break Points, Evens Match
The second sat saw plenty of tense moments as Bernard Tomic tried to claw his way back into the match. Early, neither player's serve was threatened. In the fourth game, Tomic was forced to save a pair of break points and did so to keep the set square at 2-2. Thiem faltered in the next game as Tomic converted his first break chance of the set for a 3-2 lead. Tomic would teeter on the brink of handing the break back three times, but save all three break opportunities as he staked claim to the set at 6-4 to even the match. Both men dominated with their first serves again with Tomic winning 76 percent of the points, while Thiem won 82 percent. The biggest factor of course was the break conversion rate where the fifth seed made out better.
Thiem Survives Early Trouble in Final Set
The third set opened with an exchange of breaks as Tomic blew the quick 1-0 lead. By the fourth game, it was Thiem who was in control as he broke the Aussie for a second time in the set. From there, Thiem seemed re-energized as he held two of his final three service games at-love to win his fifth ATP World Tour title 7-6 (8), 4-6, 6-3. Thiem tallied 22 aces in the match to earn his ATP-leading 18th win of the season.
Thiem was understandably pleased with the win, which capped off a 13-1 February for the Austrian, "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."
The win will see Thiem move up to a career-best number 14 in the ATP rankings.