The Austrian, who had lost his first three finals, knocks Zverev down in five sets and is already the first champion born in the 90s
Dominic Thiem joked these days that he still had to talk to Andy Murray to see what it was like to lose your first four Grand Slam finals. The Austrian is another victim of the tyranny of the Big Three. He reached two Roland Garros finals, but met Rafa Nadal, the best in history on clay. And he arrived at one of the Australian Open, but Novak Djokovic, the winner of eight editions, was waiting for him. Luckily for him in the US Open final, Alexander Zverev was waiting, a brilliant promise but still tender at this point. Thiem beat (2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and 7-6 ) and tennis finally has its first Grand Slam champion born in the 90s.
Zverev started out as a locomotive. Whether it was the inertia of Friday’s comeback, the first time in his career that he lifted two sets against, the work with David Ferrer, his coach since this summer, or the reinforcement of seeing that things went flying. The first sign was the service, incontestable. But the other, the final one, was the right. Zverev has a superb backhand, but his forehand is not up to the task of a player who has been number three in the world. At the beginning against Thiem, even with her, he dominated.
By contrast, the Austrian was timid. The serves did not go in. The right was not running. The legs, either. He hit them with his racket as if trying to wake them up. They made a feint in the second set and appeared in the third. Like his forehand, like the one-handed backhand, the complete ‘pack’ that has made him number three in the world. He went up, put pressure on the German, who was breaking down. Until Zverev gave up the third with three errors on service: two balls to the net and one wide.
It was difficult for Zverev to rebuild himself, the momentum of the start lost, the Austrian awake. Boy did it cost him. It cost him the tournament. By the time he came to, he already had Thiem in front of him, who had reached the final rolling, leaving only one set on the way. None against Daniil Medvedev, a finalist against Nadal a year ago. He forced the fifth set, which began exchanging breaks and screams of rage. Discharging tension.
It was the keynote of a decisive set in which, yes, the two coincided at the same height. And what a set. The first time in the Open Era that the Flushing Meadows tournament was defined in a fifth heat tie-break. If epic was lacking, Thiem threw a whole chariot, who played sudden death lame, cramped, barely moving, but with her head and wrist in full swing. Thiem won, who raised two sets against, who signed a brilliant break when Zverev served to win the tournament and who will not have to call Murray.