Tennis: Thiem wins US Open, cops first Grand Slam title
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Dominic Thiem produced a historic comeback to beat Alexander Zverev in a nervy five-setter and win the US Open on Sunday for his first Grand Slam title.
The second seeded Austrian beat the fifth seed 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) in 4hr 2min inside a near-empty Arthur Ashe Stadium.
It marked the first time in the US Open’s Open era history that a player had recovered from losing the opening two sets to win the title.
It was also the first time the final had been settled by a tie-break.
“I wish we could have two winners today. I think we both deserved it,” said Thiem.
The title is the 27-year-old Thiem’s maiden Grand Slam trophy after three previous defeats in finals of tennis majors.
Thiem was runner-up at the Australian Open earlier this year and also lost in the last-two showdowns at the French Open in 2018 and 2019.
He also becomes the first new Grand Slam champion since Croatian Marin Cilic won at Flushing Meadows in 2014.
Thiem is also the first Grand Slam champion other than Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer since Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka won the third of his majors at the 2016 US Open.
Zverev, 23, smashed four aces and 16 winners in the first set as he displayed an impressive serve and volley game to take a 1-0 lead in just 30 minutes.
The German was helped by some sloppy serving from Thiem, who hit three double faults as he was broken twice, in games three and seven.
In set two, Zverev wasted three set points while 5-1 up but held on to take a 2-0 lead on his fifth set point.
The tide was beginning to turn though as Zverev’s play became increasingly cagey as his suspect second serve got slower and his forehand, another weakness, became more defensive. (AFP | Peter HUTCHISON)