The Austrian triumphs in an insane Flushing Meadows final and wins his first Grand Slam tournament. Zverev starts furious – until the match turns completely.
Alexander Zverev narrowly missed the first Grand Slam title of his career after a nerve-racking five-set match. The 23-year-old tennis professional lost on Sunday evening in New York in the final to the Austrian Dominic Thiem in five rounds despite a 2-0 set lead and missed the big chance for the first German title at one of the four most important tournaments since Boris Becker in 1996 Australian Open.
Zverev had to admit defeat after 4:01 a.m. with 6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 7 (6: 8). For 27-year-old Thiem, it was the fourth attempt at the first Grand Slam victory. He is the first player in 16 years to win the title in a final after a 2-0 set deficit. In the tie-break, the Austrian, plagued by cramps, used his third match point. Thiem is the first Grand Slam champion since Swiss Stan Wawrinka at the US Open 2016, who is not called Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer. Nadal and Federer did not start in Flushing Meadows this year, Djokovic was disqualified in the round of 16 for shooting a linesman in frustration with the ball. That paved the way for a winner outside of the Big Three. Zverev missed the big opportunity, while Thiem finally fulfilled his big dream. In the tenth game between the two, it was Zverev’s eighth loss.
At the end of the hour-long rollercoaster ride, Thiem fell back onto the blue hard court and put his hands over his face. Zverev went to the other end of the network, honestly congratulating his opponent and hugging him, not quite Corona compliant.
Zverev initially determined what would happen at will
Zverev got off to a brilliant start at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, which is almost deserted due to strict hygiene conditions. Unlike the two previous matches, when the German number one started to wait and hesitated and always lost the first set, Zverev was there from the start and surprised his buddy Thiem with aggressive and courageous tennis. At 2: 1 Zverev took over the serve from the visibly nervous Austrian, until 5: 2 he succeeded again. After half an hour, Zverev got the first set 6-2.
The native of Hamburg took the dream calmly. He looked a little incredulous at his opponent, four years older than him, whom he had previously called “my best friend on the tour”. Zverev remained very focused and did not let the fact that Thiem was clearly not moving as well as usual.
At the start of the second section he also managed to make a quick break to make it 2-1, Zverev decided what happened at will. The German number one drove to 5: 1, but then became clearly nervous. The number seven in the world missed four set balls and also lost his service for the first time in this match. Thiem now felt his chance, also because Zverev made some small mistakes. But Zverev kept his nerves and got passage number two with the fifth set ball.
In the third set, Zverev became more and more nervous
But just a sentence away from the big dream, Zverev became more and more nervous. Aggression and self-evidence were lost, the error rate increased. Because Thiem also remained well below his level, an end game at a moderate level sometimes developed. Thiem took advantage of it and took the third set. Zverev did not seem shocked at first and kept the fourth round open. Both players have now improved again and finally delivered an exciting exchange of blows.
Thiem equalized the set and also took the lead with a break in the deciding set. But Zverev, as so often, showed the heart of a great hunter and immediately took over Thiem’s serve. The German number one pushed forward loudly and took the lead again. He made the break to 5: 3, but immediately gave the re-break to 5: 4. It was finally a first-class match that found a worthy end in the tie-break – with the final furioso for Thiem, who was plagued by cramps.
The game to read in the ticker
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 7 (6: 8) – That’s when it happened! Dominic Thiem wins the US Open 2020! The return of Thiem’s service thunders out Zverev.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (6: 7) – Did Zverev go online too early? Thiem uses it – and has match point again.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (6: 6) – Zverev is back! A service at 109 km / h – and Thiem hits another forehand.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (5: 6) – And rewards the first online.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (4: 6) – Thiem now has two match balls
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (4: 5) – Thiem hits another forehand.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (3: 5) – Next double fault Zverev.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (3: 4) – Ass Thiem. It almost seems like Thiem’s injury is upsetting Zverev. Thiem only plays from a standing start.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (3: 3) – There is not enough pressure behind it. Zverev has been playing a forehand for too long.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (3: 2) – He brings the following for it.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (2: 2) – Double fault Zverev!
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (2: 1) – The Austrian flees forward, attacks, but is visibly handicapped. Nevertheless, it is getting shorter.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (2: 0) – Thiem distorts a forehand, Zverev quickly leads 2-0.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 (1: 0) – Thiem looks battered, but Zverev doesn’t show anything.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 6 – The match is entering the tie-break – and that’s good for this thriller too! Zverev gets the immediate re-break, forces mistakes on Thiem, who also looks a bit battered. The German has two break balls and secures the point with a forehand winner.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 5: 6 – Strong! Zverev goes online at 3:30 PM and pushes the point. But then both deliver another crazy rally – with a better result for Thiem after Zverev hit a forehand far out. After the break, Thiem now has all the trumps and serves to win the match. Then Thiem should be treated briefly and massaged. Are these the first cramps? Very understandable after 3:47 hours of play.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 5: 5 – Zverev has to do that right in the beginning. He goes online but is too imprecise in his strokes and awards the safe point at 0:15. Thiem does him a favor and ends up online. Twice. He looks nervous! But then add an ace and a longline to the line and another longline winner to level. It’s unbelievable.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 5: 4 – Crazy. Just crazy. Thiem manages the re-break and keeps his chances of victory alive. He comes back strong and forces Zverev to make mistakes again.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 5: 3 – Praise balls on the line, stoppers – both currently offer insane tennis. And then Zverev suddenly has breakball to 5: 3! Thiem hits the ball out of the way – now Zverev is serving to win the US Open.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 4: 3 – Thiem struggles with himself again when both play briefly and repeatedly with a lot of spin in a strong rally – and his too-short slice ends up in the net. Zverev attacks again, goes online, does at 40:15 – and scores again on the network. Then he fires himself up again and shouts “Come on!” Once again. It is now entering the decisive phase. What a thriller.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 3: 3 – Strong point played by both. Zverev has a long way to go, Thiem almost on the edge of the important break – but the Austrian countered and equalized with an ace to 3: 3.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 3: 2 – What a backhand from Zverev! He puts the ball on the line to the millimeter at 40:15, plays risky, tries a lot. An ace seals the 3: 2. Neither of the two finalists currently has a clear advantage, going back and forth.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 2: 2 – Thiem compensates. 2: 2 – It is completely unpredictable how this match will develop in the deciding phase.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 2: 1 – Is that a match! Now Zverev is back and has some luck again when a challenge sees his service paper thin in the field. Then he immediately follows up, goes on the network and makes the point clear.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 1: 1 – “Come on!” Zverev shouts out loud – he immediately secures the re-break! He’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to do now: attack, play brave. After a beautiful passing ball, he leads 40:30, then Thiem makes his seventh double error. .
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6, 0: 1 – And again Zverev immediately gives the rest. Time and again his thrusts get out of hand, he seems to slowly despair.
Summary 4th sentence: Sometimes the competition had its best phase with first-class rallies. Significant difference from the start of the game: at Zverev almost nothing came together, Thiem continued to play for free and now seems to have reached its peak. He currently has a clear advantage.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 6 – Now things are moving very quickly: Thiem gets through his service game with power, Zverev just swings away, hits a forehand at 0:40 – and we have a decisive set!
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 5 – Thiem takes the pace. if Zverev leaves it to him. The German is now in talks with the referee repeatedly, seems angry – but maybe he needs that now to get up. Then another Thiem ball rolls over the net again, at 40:40 Zverev makes a double foul. Breakball Thiem! Now the Austrian serves as compensation for penalties.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 4 – These are exciting rallies between them. Thiem makes his service game with difficulty, in the end Zverev challenged the winner of his opponent – who was still on the line. Here too: Thiem is now lucky in the crucial situations.
Dominated long stretches of the first two sets: Alexander Zverev in the final against Dominic Thiem. (Source: dpa)
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 3: 3 – Zverev offers Thiem more and more opportunities, is too undecided in his attacks – completely different from the Austrians. Big rally, Zverev goes online and after several tries Thiem gets the forehand longline past him at 40:15. But then he can’t close the bag, takes 40:40. Zverev forces the advantage with the forehand, clenching his fist and forcing Thiem to use a too long forehand.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 2: 3 – Zverev misses the length in the strokes, he is more prone to mistakes – meanwhile he has overtaken Thiem without necessity with the mistakes (38 against 37). Thiem secured the 3: 2 with an ace.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 2: 2 – Thiem goes a long way with Zverev’s service, but also makes it work. Still, Zverev manages his game relatively confidently.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 1: 2 – Zverev is currently playing too volatile, strong returns come on twisted blows and vice versa. So Thiem gets the 2: 1.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 1: 1 – Maybe that’s how it works! Zverev is now closer to the baseline, tries again with more aggressiveness, moves forward to the net (38 times over the course of the game – twice as often as Thiem), is therefore lucky with a net- scooter and gets the point with an ace.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6, 0: 1 – And Thiem continues the same way, passing his service game quickly and uncompromisingly.
Summary 3rd sentence: There is nothing left of the looseness of the first two sentences in Zverev. Thiem now dominates the game, the German reacts alone. He lets him dictate the game, plus more double fouls – slowly but surely the game slips from his hands.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 6 – Typical of the last games: when Zverev serves, Thiem suddenly has two set balls because the German suddenly misses the length in the shots. Those were probably impact hits in the last points.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 5 – It goes back and forth. Zverev faces the next break ball, but is unlucky with a challenge that costs him 40:30 and protects Thiem from major needs. Ultimately, the Austrian remains in the lead. Zverev now serves against the loss of the set.
6: 2, 6: 4, 4: 4 – Zverev has to fight harder for his points than before, but he manages his service game despite his ninth double fault. He is also unlucky at the edge of the net, Thiem can play his backhand past him into the field – a draw. And then Zverev takes out a hammer at over 200 km / h on debut and second serve – unbelievable.
6: 2, 6: 4, 3: 4 – Thiem now dominates, forces a 30:30 draw with his own serve with a strong inside-out, adds a winner. Zverev is a bit too passive in this phase, hits a backhand and is further behind.
Fought his way back into the match: Dominic Thiem clenched his fist. (Source: dpa)
6: 2, 6: 4, 3: 3 – Zverev needed that! A brilliant half-volley stop in which the 1.98 meter giant kneels so badly, and then the service game is safely over.
6: 2, 6: 4, 2: 3 – Thiem takes the lead for the first time in this match, but Zverev’s current match should be a cause for concern. He now lets his opponent dictate the game, he makes more mistakes (now 24 unforced mistakes) and doesn’t seem as fast as in the beginning. He absolutely has to catch himself again.
6: 2, 6: 4, 2: 2 – That is now also strong of Thiem, who now has to try everything and Zverev is knocking on the returns. Then there is the German’s next double foul and all of a sudden he has a breaking point against him. But: Thiem knocks back out on the forehand – how often does that happen to him? Then a millimeter blow out – it’s just not Thiem’s day. Funnily enough, he still secures the point, as Zverev is also increasingly lacking in concentration.
6: 2, 6: 4, 2: 1 – Emotional Worlds: Here Thiem is desperate as he hits a sure winner in the half field and then desperately grabs his head, here Zverev, who coolly notices the next break and keeps playing his shoe. Is the momentum shifting again?
6: 2, 6: 4, 1: 1 – This is important to Zverev! He brings his own service game to zero and sets the point with an ace.
6: 2, 6: 4, 0: 1 – We have a match! Thiem is now fully there and is finally developing the pressure we’ve seen from him in recent laps. A very dangerous phase for Zverev, who must not lose his line.
Summary 2nd sentence: a crazy passage. Zverev was already leading 5: 1, seemed to keep dominating Thiem at will – but then suddenly faltered. Despite the lost 2nd set, Thiem is much better in the game, he acts more powerfully and makes Zverev think. This match is far from over, Zverev has to be careful.
6: 2, 6: 4 – Zverev looks hit, makes the following double mistake at the start of his service game, looks for security from the previous game. He opens the place with a forehand cross at 30:15, but then moves a backhand. Nevertheless, he still gets the set ball and still secures the second set, Thiem cannot return the strong cross.
6: 2, 5: 4 – Suddenly the Austrian finds his way to the game better. With 212 km / h it reaches 40: 0 and then shortens to 4: 5.
6: 2, 5: 3 – Is Zverev now also considering? His service is no longer so sure, he makes a double mistake. But then the next ace comes, he’s put the ball, comes to the net – and puts the winner out! Then he makes the next double mistake, Thiem now brings his return better and secures peace. Zverev has now not used a total of four set balls.
Strong 1st set: Alexander Zverev in the US Open final against Dominic Thiem. (Source: dpa)
6: 2, 5: 2 – What kind of match is this? After just 61 minutes, Zverev has put the ball – and that in the US Open final! Thiem is still completely beside himself, he lacks the explosiveness, he looks insecure. Time and again he misses the correct length in the strokes, he allows the game of Zverev to be forced upon him. Zverev himself, on the other hand, plays clearly, has a plan, does not let himself be disturbed, and is fighting against it. Nonetheless, Thiem saves himself and fends off three set balls, comes over the serve. Now Zverev has the chance to conclude the sentence himself.
6: 2, 5: 1 – Significant: at Zverev (almost) everything is currently working. The next clean service game for the hamburger, and at 40:15 he is lucky that a net scooter jumps into the field. Thiem now serves against the loss of the 2nd set.
6: 2, 4: 1 – Incredible what Thiem is doing here. At 3.30 pm on his own service, he makes the following double foul, he has two breakballs against him. Thiem comes back to 40:40, but lets Zverev lure him and hits another forehand that’s way too long.
6: 2, 3: 1 – Zverev withdraws. Thiem has now made 13 mistakes without the German being needed, the German, on the other hand, plays courageously and sometimes brings a second serve at 210 km / h. His risk is rewarded. On the other hand, Thiem is already struggling, talking to himself.
Dominic Thiem doesn’t find his game yet. (Source: Reuters)
6: 2, 2: 1 – Again as strong as a bear from Zverev! A forehand winner at 30:30, and he’s got the next break ball! Thiem gives him the gift when his forehand goes out. What’s wrong with the Austrian?
6: 2, 1: 1 – Zverev, on the other hand, ends his service game in just under a minute, Thiem can’t do anything.
6: 2, 0: 1 – Thiem spends his service game, but with a lot, a lot of effort. He fights for more control in the rallies, makes his fourth double fault, takes advantage of a net scooter, but eventually makes the point. He clenches his fist as he goes to the couch – was that the sense of accomplishment he needed?
Summary 1st set: Zverev plays concentrated, focused, makes hardly any mistakes, gets 16 winners (Thiem only four) – and wins the 1st set rightly. Thiem hasn’t been able to develop his powerful game yet – also because Zverev just didn’t want him.
1st part, 6: 2 – That’s just strong of Zverev: he puts Thiem under pressure with his serve, but then also goes back, moves forward and forces the points. Thiem is a few meters behind the baseline and cannot free himself. Then he offers him the forehand side – and Zverev gets the first set after just 30 minutes.
1st part, 5: 2 – Zverev has also adapted well to Thiem’s longline hit, bringing the balls back well. Thiem then makes a double fault, but puts an ace behind him. However, Zverev remains calm with a forehand winner. And: Thiem’s next double error and a warped forehand out of bounds. The next break for Zverev – now he serves to win the set.
1st part, 4: 2 – Zverev is quickly and uncompromisingly zeroed in his service game, Thiem is already having trouble getting the German’s hard service back. Well played by the German.
1st part, 3: 2 – This is not the Thiem of the tournament so far. Only 25 percent of his first serve comes into the field, and he makes unusual mistakes. At 30:30, however, he seems to balance himself, comes in with his forehand – but Zverev counteracts with his own forehand, is also lucky with the net edge and forces a draw. But then he warps a backhand and lets Thiem put pressure on him.
Dominic Thiem in the US Open final. (Source: dpa)
1st part, 3: 1 – Zverev’s first service comes at 222 km / h. Thiem returns, but Zverev comes online and forces the points. And again sprinkles a backhand longline up to 40: 0. Clear sign towards Thiem.
1st part, 2: 1 – Thiem looks impressed, makes the first double fault at 3:15 pm and then completely distorts a forehand. Zverev gives away the first break ball, then opens the game with a backhand longline, goes online and gets the break anyway.
1st part, 1: 1 – Zverev starts his first service game with an ace and wants to set an example. A winner at 30:15, followed by two aces. Zverev is there, unlike in the semi-final against Pablo Carreno Busta.
1st set, 0: 1 – Zverev moves well in the beginning, is in the rallies and is not deterred by a Thiem ace. However, he sometimes lacks the length in the strokes, a forehand ends up in the net twice. First point for the Austrian.
Start of the match: it starts at Arthur Ashe Stadium!
Before the match: By the way, Thiem clearly leads in a direct comparison – the Austrian won seven out of a total of nine matches and Zverev won only twice.
Before the match: By the way, Zverev is the first German in the final of New York since Michael Stich in 1994. At the time, however, Andre Agassi won in three sets of 6: 1, 7: 6, 7: 5. Thiem is even the first Austrian in the final in Flushing. Meadows.
Alexander Zverev on his way to court at Arthur Ashe Stadium. (Source: Reuters)
Before the match: Zverev and Thiem have just arrived at Arthur Ashe Stadium. It starts in a few minutes.
Before the match: “Sascha has to play consistently from the start and cannot let himself fluctuate,” he said Nicolas Kiefer in the run-up to the final on Chillreport. “Thiem is a player who doesn’t give presents. Sascha has to play at the limit all the time, only then he has a chance.”
Thiem only gave one set throughout the tournament, Zverev had to fight hard more often.
Before the match: Zverev previously summarized his previous tournament in an Instagram post.
For years, there has been speculation when the first Grand Slam title could work for Zverev. Now he is as close as never before. Moreover, Zverev currently looks as balanced and focused at the same time as perhaps never before. Especially after the negative headlines caused by his participation in Novak Djokovic’s controversial Adriatic tour in June, in which several players became infected with the coronavirus, the hamburger has apparently also made a comeback as an adult.
Irony: Thiem also participated in the public events, both had to be done afterwards sharp criticism plug in.
Before the match: The course of the tournament of the two finalists in a direct comparison. It becomes clear: Zverev was clearly longer on the field, often had to fight. Will that be noticeable today?
Before the match: Although it is the first grand final for “Sascha” Zverev, opponent Thiem has already been in several Grand Slam finals – but not the final of the Australian Open 2020 (4: 6, 6: 4, 6: 2, 3: 6, 4: 6 against Novak Djokovic) at the French Open 2018 (4: 6, 3: 6, 2: 6 against Rafael Nadal) and 2019 (3: 6, 7: 5, 1: 6, 1: 6 to Nadal) wanted it to work.
Nevertheless, former German global player Nicolas Kiefer says in an interview with Chillreport: “Thiem has an advantage.” Why – and how Zverev could do it – read here.