New York (AP) – German tennis pro Alexander Zverev reached the final of a Grand Slam tournament at the US Open for the first time in his career.
The 23-year-old from Hamburg won a thrilling match of five sets 3: 6, 2: 6, 6: 3, 6: 4, 6: 3 against Pablo Carreño Busta from Spain in New York.
In the final on Sunday (10 p.m. CEST / Eurosport), the number seven in the world will take on Russian finalist Daniil Medvedev or Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem from Austria. In Melbourne, Zverev first reached a Grand Slam semi-final early this year, but lost to Thiem before the tour was interrupted for months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For the first time ever, he turned a 2-0 set deficit and was the first German tennis player since Michael Stich to reach the final in Flushing Meadows in 1994. “I couldn’t believe it when I was 2-0 behind, and that as a favorite. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew I had to play better tennis. I’m in my first Grand Slam. Final, that is the most important thing, ”Zverev said after 3:22 pm in the winners’ interview on the field.
He was miserable in the game against the world’s number 27. started. “He is not in balance with the base strokes”, was the interim analysis of three-time Wimbledon winner Boris Becker on the TV channel Eurosport. At 1: 3, the world took number 27. from Gijon in the first set, Zverev played the service game. When the German’s backhand landed in the net after 40 minutes, the first round was decided. In the second set things got worse: Zverev got a break in the first game. He struggled, but former top ten player Carreño Busta knew the better answer and played hard and calm.
On his way to his first Grand Slam final, Carreño Busta was indirectly involved in the scandal surrounding the world’s number one, Novak Djokovic. In the round of 16 on Sunday, the Spaniard caused problems for the Serbian top player and took over the serve from him to 6: 5 in the first set. Djokovic then hit the ball without looking backwards and hit the linesman, who went downstairs and was clearly having difficulty breathing. Djokovic was disqualified, Carreño Busta reached the quarter-finals, defeating Canadian Denis Shapovalov in five sets.
“I think Sascha is the favorite. He is rising because it’s his second Grand Slam semifinal. I don’t think he feels the pressure,” Becker said before the match – but was initially wrong. After losing the second set, Zverev left the field for a moment – and came back completely transformed. He got stronger now, played more precisely and made fewer mistakes.
With the set win to 6: 3 hope sprouted again. In the fourth round, things got equally unpleasant when Carreño Busta hit a hard ball directly on Zverev’s body with a score of 3: 5. The Spaniard immediately apologized, but Zverev looked over the net with a mixture of incomprehension and incompatibility. . With an ace, Zverev ended up using his fourth set ball to tie the 2-2.
For the fifth set, Carreño Busta had to have his back treated and took a three-minute medical break. Zverev took advantage of this weak phase and immediately took a 1-0 lead with a break. Moments later, Zverev left the first match point unused, after which a backhand from the Spaniard landed in the net.