For the first time in his career Dominic Thiem has conquered a grand slam title. Against Alexander Zverev in the finals of the US Open he seemed totally out of luck with a 2-0 deficit in sets, but he fought back admirably from a predicament: 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and 7-6 (6).
It was the first time since Roland Garros 2004 that a tennis player made up for a 2-0 deficit in sets in the finals of a grand slam tournament. At the time, Argentine Gaston Gaudio succeeded against his compatriot Guillermo Coria. 63 grandslam tournaments later, Thiem, who suffered from cramp, failed on an abandoned Flushing Meadows. The number 3 of the world had lost his first three grandslam finals. The joy and relief were immense.
Tension to cut in fifth set
Also in the fifth set Thiem came out of a backlog. At a 5-3 score Zverev was allowed to serve for the title, but that didn‘t work out. Thiem then got the chance to finish at a 6-5 score, but he also failed. In the tiebreak Thiem ruined two match points with missed forehands, but in the end he finished it anyway. After four hours and a minute of tennis, he celebrated his party frenzied with joy after Zverev had placed a backhand in the tram rails.
In the first two sets Thiem was not a shadow of the player who had lost only one set on his way to the final. When the Austrian also found out about a break in the third set, Zverev’s first Major title seemed close, but the German couldn‘t do the job. In his first grand final, the 23-year-old tennis player from Hamburg collapsed under pressure. Thiem was caught up in the first two sets, but fought his way through the nerves. In the unbelievable fifth set things could go all directions, but Thiem turned out to be just a little cooler and above all just a little happier.
With his miraculous victory, Thiem crowned himself the first grandslam champion among men born in the nineties. The 27-year-old Austrian follows in the footsteps of his compatriot Thomas Muster, who triumphed over Roland Garros in 1995. From 27 September, Thiem will hunt there for his second Major. In 2018 and 2019 he lost the final to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. The Spaniard did not defend his title at the US Open, but he is back in the capital of France on his beloved gravel of course.
Clap for Zverev
Zverev had very much wanted to be the first German since Boris Becker at the 1996 Australian Open to win a grand slam title, but he wasn’t cool enough at the time. And so the finals became a copy of his semifinal battle. Then Zverev made up a 2-0 deficit in sets against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta. To his own bitter disappointment he now gave away a huge lead.
It was already six years ago that the men‘s tennis had greeted a new grandslam champion. In September it was Marin Cilic who took care of Kei Nishikori in the finals of the US Open. In recent years the presence of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal proved to be overwhelming for the new generation of tennis players. And also now The Big Three, and especially Djokovic and Nadal, is far from being written off. If Djokovic hadn’t lost his head in the fourth round, the chance of another winner in New York would have been considerable.