Tsitsipas victory heralds changing times in tennis

Sports | REUTERS 19 Nov 2019

Rafael Nadal will end the year as top-ranked tennis player, and the Big Three have retained holds on Grand Slam titles. But when Stefanos Tsitsipas, 21, was crowned ATP Finals champion in London it felt like a watershed moment.

"I believe I'm close to being a Grand Slam champion," the Greek said after beating Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-7 (6/8), 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) in the final.

There have been false dawns before, of course.

Germany's Alexander Zverev, like Tsitsipas, was 21 last year when he beat Serbia's Novak Djokovic to win the season-ender. But he could not back it up in this year's slams. Two were won by Nadal, 33, and two by Djokovic, 32. They have 19 and 16 majors each while Roger Federer, at 38, wants to add to his record 20.

But change is on the way.

Thiem, 26, beat Federer on day one of the year-ender. Germany's Zverev beat Nadal, and so did Thiem. Then Tsitsipas eclipsed six-time champion Federer.

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