Dominic Thiem completed victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber on Monday in a rain-interrupted Mercedes Cup final.
Third seed Thiem captured his seventh ATP World Tour crown with a 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4 victory in two hours and 11 minutes. The match had been suspended due to rain on Sunday with seventh seed Kohlschreiber leading 6-6 (3/2) in the first set tie-break.
"It feels absolutely unreal because I came here without any expectations basically, and I'm pretty sure that it's the most special title for me,” said Thiem. "I didn't play that well on grass over the past two years, and this tournament was so strong. I'm the winner here, I really cannot believe it."
In recording an ATP World Tour-best 45th match win of the season, Thiem received €107,900 in prize money, a Mercedes-Benz SL 500 car and earned 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points. Kohlschreiber now travels to the Gerry Weber Open in Halle with €56,830 and 150 points. With his first grass-court trophy, 22-year-old Thiem has become only the ninth active player - and 29th in Open Era history (since May 1968) - to win three titles on three different surfaces in the same year. Thiem has also won titles in Buenos Aires (d. Almagro on clay); Acapulco (d. Tomic on hard); Nice (d. A. Zverev on clay) this year. It was Thiem and Kohlschreiber's second ATP World Tour final on German soil in the past six weeks. Kohlschreiber had beaten the World No. 7 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-6(4) for the BMW Open by FWU AG title last month.
Kohlschrieber, who had led Thiem 2-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, had a 3/2 advantage in the first set tie-break on an outside court when the final got back underway in Stuttgart on Monday morning. He won four straight points to seal the 59-minute opener. Thiem regrouped to break Kohlschreiber to 15 in the first game of the second set. It proved to be enough for Thiem, despite being forced to recover from 30/40 at 5-4, and a further break point in a 14-point game. Kohlschreiber came under pressure at the start of the decider, saving two break points from 15/40 in the first game. Thiem eventually broke and opened up a 3-1 lead.
"It's sad to lose the final, but I think it was a very good final," said Kohlschreiber. "It was a tough situation, because of the rain, but overall it was a great finish for the tournament and for Dominic. I'm happy with the performance, the loss is a little bit annoying, but I am happy with the week. I'm now looking forward to playing another tournament in Germany [at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle]."
The 32-year-old Kohlschreiber has won five of his seven ATP World Tour titles in Germany. The 2016 Mercedes Cup final marks his 10th title match on home soil. Thiem saved two match points against top seed Roger Federer in Saturday's semi-finals. He is now 19-1 in deciding sets this year, according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone.
“I started to play better and better [throughout the week]," said Thiem. "Saturday and today were two unbelievable victories against the best ever and against a really, really good grass-court player."