Beijing, October 6: Dominic Thiem came from behind to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6 6-4 6-1 to secure China Open glory and his fourth title of the year.
Thiem took advantage of a sloppy Tsitsipas start in Beijing to break to love in the opening game but the Greek respondedf immediately to get back on serve.
Tsitsipas, playing in his first final since May, was able to get on the front foot thereafter, breaking to go 5-3 up by taking advantage of unforced errors from top seed Thiem.
A cute volley gave Tsitsipas set point and his terrific wide serve allowed the 21-year-old to power home, then a smash volley saw him break at the start of the second.
But again the reply came swiftly from the world number five, this time Thiem profiting on misplaced Tsitsipas shots to get back on track at 2-2.
Tsitsipas had two chances to secure a second straight break but Thiem battled back and forced the third seed to save three break points to make it 4-4 and add to the Austrian's growing frustration.
Consecutive forehand passes from Tsitsipas created another break point, Thiem able to claw his way back to hold serve - that success giving him a timely confidence boost.
A stunning forehand set up three break points for Thiem and he seized upon the last of them to take the final to a decider, a cross-court passing shot beating Tsitsipas with the aid of the net cord.
Again Tsitsipas collapsed to 0-40 in his first service game of the third and, although he reeled off four straight points to recover, he then pushed a volley wide to hand Thiem the break.
Thiem's relentless energy was causing Tsitsipas problems and the two-time French Open finalist soon secured a double break to move 4-0 up, a position of strength he would not let slip to complete a fine week in which he also qualified for the ATP Finals.
"I think this was one of the best matches I've played in my whole career," Thiem said at the post-match presentation after sealing his first triumph in Asia.
"He played amazing and I hope we have lots more finals in the biggest tournaments. Last year we had a great rivalry so I hope this continues."