Dominic Thiem claims U.S. Open title after thrilling fightback

Dominic Thiem claims U.S. Open title after thrilling fightback”

Austria's Dominic Thiem finally claimed his first Grand Slam title with a stunning comeback to beat Germany's Alexander Zverev 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (6) in Sunday's U.S. Open final.

He became the first man in 71 years - since Pancho Gonzales in 1949 - to win the US Open after dropping the first two sets of the final.

This was Zverev's debut in a Grand Slam final.

Thiem suffered the injury during the second set tie-break of his semi-final win over Daniil Medvedev, although he still managed to win through in straight sets 6-2, 7-6, 7-6.

He fell as the first first-time Grand Slam champion since Marin Cilic at the 2014 U.S. Open, after six long, long years of unbroken rule from the royals.

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.

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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. He reached his first ATP Tour final later that year at Kitzbuehel - losing to David Goffin - and ended the year inside the top 50.

Zverev's 15th double fault gave Thiem a 5-3 lead in the tie-break before the latter squandered two match points, including one from a weak second serve from the German. He forgot about losing his serve for the match at 6-5 in the fifth, and about losing two championship points in the tiebreaker at 6-4, when, looking like a cramp and a crumple waiting to happen, he summoned two last favorable points.

"I wish there were two winners today, we both deserved it", Thiem said on court after a tearful speech from a crestfallen Zverev.

But he could not hold and soon Thiem found himself 6-5 ahead.

Serving at 30-30 in the 10th game, Thiem produced two spectacular forehands, the first a rocket down the line before a passing shot.

The match was watched by just a few dozen people, mostly officials, journalists and event staff after the coronavirus pandemic forced the tournament to be held behind closed doors.

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