Thiem reaches US Open final after beating Medvedev

Tanya Simon
September 15, 2020

Dominic Thiem has won a tour-leading five ATP titles including his first Masters 1000 title, reached his second Grand Slam final finishing as the runner-up at both French Open and ATP Finals.

Whatever happens, for the first time since 2014, the Open men's championship match will not include a player named Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer.

Difficult, yes, but Thiem's best chance at a Grand Slam title thus far.

But 2020 changed that. Zverev passed Cain's to overcome Pablo Carreño, who had an initial advantage of two sets, but ended up falling 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and 6-3 in a battle of 3h: 23. He has spent nearly four more hours on court than Thiem this U.S. Open, who won all but one of his matches in three sets.

Zverev and Thiem, good friends and with a rivalry that is on the way to being classic (7-2 for the Austrian, who dominates 3-0 in Grand Slams), will offer an unprecedented final.

The finals at the 2020 US Open are set. Twice exactly in the right situation I broke back.

"I was looking at the scoreboard when I was down two sets to love", he said.

The pandemic seemed to take things back to square one.

Zverev in his match against Carreño
Zverev in his match against Carreño

Federer and Nadal both opted out of this year's tournament, while Djokovic exited in the fourth round after an infamous swat of his racket sent a tennis ball into a line judge's neck. It meant that the future was here for the two men long touted as the successors of the Big Three. And they didn't disappoint this time.

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Thiem got close once before, in Australia this year when he pushed Djokovic to five sets before falling.

Thiem, though, has won a tournament-best 40% of his return games. Zverev's takeaway from his win over Busta is that he didn't quit. When his serve - which teeters between extremes - misfired and his groundstrokes caused errors, he buckled down for a gritty over pretty win.

While Thiem was all consistent power and pace, Zverev went for patience and percentage: both actions that would have been nearly unlikely a year ago. For the German, on the other hand, it will be his first participation in a Grand Slam final.

After coming so close to beating Nadal in his maiden final here last year, the 24-year-old knew what a huge opportunity this was, but Thiem's greater experience perhaps showed in better decision-making at the big moments.

Zverev looked like he headed for a certain defeat. The Russian entered the Thiem court area, something that is not allowed, and then took it with the supervisor ("The US Open is a joke; you don't do anything", he snapped).

But even without them, the second seed expects his semi-final clash against last year's Flushing Meadows finalist Daniil Medvedev to be a blockbuster.

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