For the third straight day, Dominic Thiem clawed his way back from a set down to win in front of his home crowd, and tomorrow, for the first time in 986 days, he’ll play for an ATP title.

The Austrian fought off five match points—and all 12 break points he faced, too—to win a three-and-a-half-hour semifinal thriller against Laslo Djere in Kitzbuhel on Friday, 6-7 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (8).

He’s now through to his first tour-level final since a right wrist injury that sidelined him for nine months from June 2021 to March 2022.

His last tour-level final came on November 22nd, 2020—exactly 985 days ago—when he finished runner-up to Daniil Medvedev at the season-ending ATP Finals, which were held in London at the time.

“I don’t know if I still can produce some good words,” an exhausted but elated Thiem said afterwards. “It was probably the longest best-of-three match I’ve ever played in my life, including when I was still a kid—I think I didn’t play that long in a best-of-three match then.

“It was a very tough and intense match, so close, every single set, every single game," the former world No. 3 added. "I knew it straight away from the beginning that it was close already.”

He was asked how much his home crowd helped get him through.

“So good. I needed it. I needed the atmosphere and the support today against Laslo, who’s playing incredible at the moment, coming from the finals [in Hamburg] and the semis here.

“It’s very special today. It’s my first final on tour since my wrist injury, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s here in Austria.”

Thiem is now a win away from his first tour-level title since winning the 2020 US Open.

Thiem is now a win away from his first tour-level title since winning the 2020 US Open.


Thiem had already dug his way back from dropping the first set in his last two rounds, defeating China’s Zhang Zhizhen, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, and then Arthur Rinderknech in the quarterfinals, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

And things looked even dicier against Djere on Friday, as after dropping the first set in a tie-break, Thiem found himself serving at 3-4, 15-40 in the second set—two break points that would have given Djere a chance to serve for a straight-set victory.

But Thiem held, broke a few games later for 6-5 and served out the second set to send it into a third, and—after fighting off three match points in his 5-6 service game in the decider—eventually closed out the No. 38-ranked Serb in a third set tie-break, even saving two more match points down 6-5 and 7-6 in the breaker, too.

Thiem is now through to the 29th tour-level final of his career, going 17-11 in his first 28. He’s going for his first tour-level title since his biggest one—his first Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open.

Awaiting him in the final will be Argentina’s Sebastian Baez, who actually won the pair’s only previous meeting, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4, in the quarterfinals of Bastad last summer—on clay.