August 3, 2019 / 6:11 PM / 21 days ago

Thiem beats Ramos-Vinolas to win first title on home soil in Kitzbuehel

(Reuters) - Austria’s world number four Dominic Thiem beat Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6(0) 6-1 on Saturday to win the Kitzbuehel Open, his 14th ATP singles title and his first on home soil.

The 25-year-old top seed wrapped up the match in 98 minutes to clinch his third title of the year after wins in Indian Wells and Barcelona. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are the only other players to win three titles this year.

“It is absolutely incredible, one of my biggest dreams since I play tennis,” Thiem, who did not drop a single set en route to winning his first title in Austria, said.

“There is no better thing for an athlete than having this kind of success in front of your home crowd.”

Thiem became the first Austrian to win the Kitzbuehel title since former world number one Thomas Muster achieved the feat in 1993.

Ramos-Vinolas nearly broke Thiem when he was 2-1 up in the first set but the Austrian claycourt specialist saved five break points to hold serve in a marathon game.

An engrossing opening set went with serve until rain interrupted the match with Thiem serving to stay in the set at 5-4, forcing the players to head to the locker room as the covers came on.

However, Thiem held serve and, at 6-5, forced a tiebreak with an ace before the local favourite stepped up his game to win seven points in a row and take the first set, much to the delight of the 5,600-strong home crowd that roared its approval.

The one-sided tiebreak seemed to take the wind out of Ramos-Vinolas’ sails. The 31-year-old, who won the Swiss Open last week, was playing his 18th match in less than a month.

Thiem stormed into an early 2-0 lead in the second set before breaking the Spaniard again to win five games in a row and eventually take the set in less than half an hour.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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