Thiem Takes Tie Break Tens Title With Final Victory Over Murray
Dominic Thiem won the second edition of Tie Break Tens by beating Andy Murray 10-5 with some blistering tennis in the final in front of his home fans at the Erste Bank Open 500 Vienna.
Thiem went unbeaten through the event and took home the winner-take-all prize of $250,000. It is the second time that Murray has fallen at the final hurdle, after going down to compatriot Kyle Edmund at the Royal Albert Hall in London last December.
Thiem smashed his way past Jo Wilfried Tsonga 10-4 and Tommy Haas 10-6 in the round-robin stages, and then defeated Goran Ivanisevic in the semifinals.
He was thrilled with the win.
“I’m really excited to win Tie Break Tens,” said Thiem. “It’s a great format and a lot of fun. The final was really tense and serious tennis, and I think it was a great atmosphere. There was a really good crowd here and I think Tie Break Tens has a great future. I would love to play it again.”
Ivanisevic believes Thiem could top the world rankings in the future. “He is a great player, a great guy, and a future No.1 player in the world in my opinion.”
Every match was played over a first-to-ten-point match tie-break, and Ivanisevic was one of the stars of the show, edging out underdog Marcus Willis 10-8 and giving Murray a run for his money in the round-robin stages. Murray eventually won it 10-7, but not before Ivanisevic had played a couple of sensational points.
Willis led Murray 3-1 in their match, hitting one stunning drop shot winner before Murray raced away with the next 9 points.
Despite losing in the final, Murray enjoyed the experience.
“It’s a really enjoyable format,” he said. “There’s room for something like this in tennis. Dominic played some great tennis in the final.”
He will now take his place with Thiem in the Erste Bank Open 500 draw.
The event was screened live on Sky Sports in the UK and ORF television in Austria. It was also live-streamed on the Tie Break Tens Facebook page, with more than 600,000 people logging in to watch the action live. Tennis.com also live-streamed the event.
Watching around the world, the event caught the attention of people from inside the world of tennis.
The 2002 Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson tweeted: “Have to say that I really enjoy watching @tiebreaktens. Good format for the active players and fantastic entertainment for the crowd!!”
The Great Britain Davis Cup Captain Leon Smith tweeted: “Really enjoying watching @tiebreaktens. Good format, crowd fully engaged. Good viewing.”
Thiem 10-5 Murray
Tsonga 10-8 Ivanisevic
Murray 10-7 Tsonga
Ivanisevic 10-5 Thiem
Thiem 10-4 Tsonga
Tsonga 10-6 Haas
Thiem 10-3 Haas
Murray 10-7 Goran
Murray 10-3 Willis
Ivanisevic 10-8 Willis