Fourth time, good time for Dominic Thiem: the 27-year-old Austrian has won a grand slam tournament for the first time. After a total turnaround and a 4-hour battle against Alexander Zverev (ATP-7), the world‘s number 3 turned a 2-set deficit in his favor: 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6- 3.7-6 (8/6).
It was the 4th grand slam final for Thiem versus the first for Zverev. At Roland Garros 2018 and 2019, Rafael Nadal was twice too strong for the Austrian and at the beginning of this year he bumped into Novak Djokovic in Melbourne.
Thiem is the 1st new Grand Slam winner since Marin Cilic at the US Open in 2014 and he is the first new laureate outside of “the Big 3” since Stan Wawrinka also in New York in 2016. The Big 3 are Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
After the exclusion of Djokovic (ATP-1) in the 1 / 8th finals, the way was open for a new winner, Federer (knee surgery) and title holder Nadal (for corona reasons) were not even there in this unreleased corona edition.
Thiem makes up 2 sets, that was 70 years ago
What makes it even more historic is that Thiem is the first player in 70 years to win the final at Flushing Meadows after losing the first 2 sets.
In set 1 and set 2, the number 3 was not at the appointment against his opponent, who is also his friend in addition to the court. He seemed somewhat impressed by the commitment and the pressure against Zverev, who was able to turn a 2-0 deficit in sets in the semi-final against Pablo Careno Busto for the first time in his career.
However, after his solid win against Daniil Medvedev, finalist in 2019, Thiem started as a favorite in the final battle. Also because he had an advantage 7-2 in the mutual duels with Zverev. He has won their last 3 matches, including in the semifinals in Melbourne.
With his back against the wall after another early break in the 3rd set (1-2), Thiem started his way back. He boosted his level, broke back immediately and was able to grab the set at the next break point. 1 break was also sufficient in set 4.
It was a grueling final with a heavy game of arm wrestling in the final set: we got a rebreak three times. At 3-5, Zverev was allowed to serve for the match, but to no avail. At 6-5 Thiem missed an opportunity. A tiebreak had to decide and Thiem was slightly cooler than Zverev. The 3rd match ball was the right one, Zverev made a mistake.
Thiem: “This match earned 2 winners”
Thiem couldn’t believe it and lay down on the floor with open arms. Zverev congratulated his rival and friend with a hug, averse to the strict corona protocol. “This is the first of many grand slam titles for you, I have no doubt about that,” congratulated Zverev Thiem.
“It was a fierce fight, I wish he missed a few more strokes so I could raise the cup. The match turned when he broke me a 1st time in the 3rd set. From then on he got better and I a little less. Still,” he said. I missed opportunities. ” Zverev was often on 2 points from match win, but could not finish it. The German hit more winners (52-43), but also more errors (65-55).
“But I’m only 23, I don’t think this will be my last chance. I believe I will be grand slam champion one day.”
That aura reached Thiem today: “I devoted practically my whole life to be able to conquer one of the four grand slam titles. And now I did it. I had dreamed of this since childhood. The match sequence had to be like this. It was the spitting image. of my career: many ups and downs, but great how this turned out. “
“I also want to dedicate this victory to my team and my family. Today I give them something back for everything they have done for me.”
But he had also not forgotten Zverev: “We have known each other since 2014, became friends right away and our rivalry started in 2016. It’s unbelievable where this has taken us. It would have been nice if there were 2 winners tonight, we both deserved it. . “
2 more historical facts to conclude: Thiem is the first grand slam champion born in the 90s and he is the first Austrian to win the US Open.
The match point:
Reactions from Thiem and Zverev:
Some nice points from the final: