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PIX: Thiem claims US Open title after thrilling fightback

Last updated on: September 14, 2020 06:55 IST
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Dominic Thiem

IMAGE: Austria’s Dominic Thiem celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the US Open in a tie-breaker against Alexander Zverev of Germany. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

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 a brutal and nerve-jangling US Open final on Sunday.

The 27-year-old world number three, beaten in his first three Grand Slam finals, started as favourite but appeared to have blown his golden chance as he fell two sets behind.

Dominic Thiem

IMAGE: Austria’s Dominic Thiem returns the ball during his final match against and Alexander Zverev of Germany. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Thiem, who had dropped only one set en route to the final, looked stifled by nerves early on but gradually broke the shackles to hit back from a break down to take the third.

Zverev faltered on serve at 3-4 in a high-quality fourth set allowing Thiem to take the contest to a decider.

Dominic Thiem

IMAGE: Dominic Thiem lays down in celebration after winning championship point. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

A limping Thiem trailed 5-3 in a tense decider but Zverev could not close it out and the Austrian summoned some incredible baseline winners to take it into a tiebreak.

A gut-wrenching climax saw Thiem squander two match points from 6-4 with forehand errors but he would not be denied and set up a third match point with a passing shot before Zverev fired wide after four hours and two minutes.

Alexander Zverev

IMAGE: Alexander Zverev. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

"I wish there were two winners today, we both deserved it," Thiem, the second Austrian to win a Grand Slam title after Thomas Muster's 1995 French Open title, said on court after a tearful speech from his crestfallen 23-year-old opponent.

Thiem had lost the last two French Open finals to Rafael Nadal and this year's Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic.

Dominic Thiem

IMAGE: Dominic Thiem shakes hands with Alexander Zverev after winning. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

This time he started as the favourite but needed to become the first player to win a Grand Slam title from two sets down since Gaston Gaudio at the 2004 French Open to end his wait.

Thiem is the first male player born in the 1990s to claim a Grand Slam and the first besides the big three of Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer to claim one of the majors since Stanislas Wawrinka won the 2016 US Open.

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