Dominic Thiem recovers from two sets down to win fifth-set tie-break at US Open for maiden slam title

Thiem fought back from two sets down to win his first major - APThiem fought back from two sets down to win his first major - AP

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Thiem fought back from two sets down to win his first major – AP

Dominic Thiem finally claimed his first Grand Slam title with a stunning comeback to beat the fifth seed Alexander Zverev 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(6) at the US Open final.

The 27-year-old world No 3, beaten in his first three major finals, started as favourite but appeared to have blown his golden chance as he fell two sets behind.

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.

A limping Thiem trailed 5-3 in a high-quality decider but summoned some incredible baseline winners to take it into a nerve-jangling tiebreak.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="An astonishing climax saw Thiem squander two match points from 6-4 but when a third opportunity came Zverev fired wide after four hours and two minutes. PA” data-reactid=”35″>An astonishing climax saw Thiem squander two match points from 6-4 but when a third opportunity came Zverev fired wide after four hours and two minutes. PA

12:37 AM

Thiem speaks

The Austrian has some lovely words of comfort for his good friend, and expects him to be challenging for grand slam titles in the future.

He hopes his grandparents have enjoyed the night, even though he admits it wouldn’t have been an easy watch.

And here’s that Zverev speech:

 

12:32 AM

Zverev speaks

I don’t know where to start. I want to congratulate Dominic on the first of many Grand Slam titles, I think. This is not the only one.

Zverev very emotional as he thanks his parents for all they have done and sad they can’t be with him in New York after they tested positive for Covid. 

I’m sure they’re sitting at home, even though I lost they’re pretty proud. I wish one day that I can bring the trophy home.

 

12:29 AM

Friends until the end

 

12:27 AM

History maker

Wow. That final set had everything but you have to feel for Zverev. 

 

12:21 AM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 Zverev TIE-BREAK (cont)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="It's painful viewing now. Both players struggling with their nerves. The ball boy wipes the sweat off the baseline with a towel as Zverev gets ready to send down a serve. And now Thiem can make his forehand as he passes Zverev at the net (6-7). It's a third championship point. Thiem serves and watches Zverev push a groundstroke wide. Thiem has done it (6-8). GAME, SET AND MATCH: THIEM RECOVERS FROM TWO SETS DOWN TO WIN US OPEN IN FIVE SETS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”63″>It’s painful viewing now. Both players struggling with their nerves. The ball boy wipes the sweat off the baseline with a towel as Zverev gets ready to send down a serve. And now Thiem can make his forehand as he passes Zverev at the net (6-7). It’s a third championship point. Thiem serves and watches Zverev push a groundstroke wide. Thiem has done it (6-8). GAME, SET AND MATCH: THIEM RECOVERS FROM TWO SETS DOWN TO WIN US OPEN IN FIVE SETS. 

12:18 AM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-6 Zverev TIE-BREAK (cont)

Thiem powers down a first serve clocking 132mph, not bad for a man with one decent working leg (3-4). And a cushion now for Thiem with a second double from Zverev (3-5). Thiem goes for broke during the next point, but the ball lands long (4-5). But now Thiem has his chance, he strides into the court to dispatch a short ball to set up two match points (4-6). Oh wow. Just when you think Thiem will put away a forehand, and it slaps it into the middle (5-6). Thiem still has another championship point. Zverev misses his first serve but Thiem pulls his next groundstroke wide (6-6). 

12:14 AM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-6 Zverev TIE-BREAK

Zverev gets on the board and then watches Thiem strike long for an early break with the Austrian still cramping (2-0). Thiem comes into the net this time, a delightful drop shot getting him on the board, but he can barely walk back to the baseline (2-1). Thiem is looking in real discomfort. He tries to bounce around shaking his legs into action as Zverev sends down another double (2-2). The German sends down a gutsy first serve to edge back in front (3-2), and both men gingerly exchange groundstrokes before Zverev strikes long (3-3).

12:10 AM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-6 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem called the trainer on during the changeover for a tight hamstring. He was showing signs of cramping during that last game, but now he needs to serve for the championship. His team are on their feet in the stands as Thiem shapes to serve. Is there another twist in the tale?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Zverev won't go quietly, he edges to 0-30. A great volley into the corner brings Thiem back to 15-30, but he strikes long during the next point to hand Zverev break point. Thiem watches Zverev's service return fly long. But he can't stop a second. We're heading for a fifth set tie-break! ZVEREV BREAKS TO TAKE MATCH INTO FINAL SET TIE-BREAK” data-reactid=”77″>Zverev won’t go quietly, he edges to 0-30. A great volley into the corner brings Thiem back to 15-30, but he strikes long during the next point to hand Zverev break point. Thiem watches Zverev’s service return fly long. But he can’t stop a second. We’re heading for a fifth set tie-break! ZVEREV BREAKS TO TAKE MATCH INTO FINAL SET TIE-BREAK

12:04 AM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-5 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

‘How can I miss that sliced backhand?’ is the question asked by Thiem to his camp as he misses his moment to move 0-30 in front. But the second seed does edge ahead when a cross-court forehand clips the line. Zverev stays strong. Charges the net, and makes a fantastic pick up at the net to volley home for 30-all. Quality of the match is high now. Why did it take both of them this long to get into the groove?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Break point now for Thiem and he makes it, Zverev striking his forehand well deep. Thiem will serve for the championship. THIEM BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”81″>Break point now for Thiem and he makes it, Zverev striking his forehand well deep. Thiem will serve for the championship. THIEM BREAKS. 

11:59 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 5-5 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Superb defensive play from Thiem at the baseline to deny Zverev at the net for 0-15. The level has and tension has cranked up a notch in this fifth set. It’s impossible to call which way the momentum is going to swing next.

Thiem up against it now at 15-30 but a timely first serve from the Austrian brings him level. Wow, Thiem pulls out a cracking forehand winner which skids off the line. And he follows it up with a second successive forehand winner. He pumps his fist to his camp. The smattering of people on Arthur Ashe Stadium show their appreciation. It’s all square again!

11:53 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 4-5 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Which way is this final heading now? Two forehand errors and Zverev is 0-30 down. He draws a point back, but the pressure is getting to the big man. Two break points. He saves the first, but not the second, striking the net. THIEM BREAKS AND WE’RE BACK ON SERVE” data-reactid=”88″>Which way is this final heading now? Two forehand errors and Zverev is 0-30 down. He draws a point back, but the pressure is getting to the big man. Two break points. He saves the first, but not the second, striking the net. THIEM BREAKS AND WE’RE BACK ON SERVE

 

11:50 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-5 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Ooh er. Zverev has a chance now with a mini break at 0-30. He senses his moment, comes into the net, but Thiem pushes him back again and then delivers a fantastic overhead into the corner. And what composure from Thiem on the next point, tapping a volley over the net, almost toying with Zverev. The German stares across the net at his friend, with an almost 'are you sure?' look. What composure. But wait Zverev isn't going away. Break point now and he makes the break as Thiem pulls a groundstroke wide. ZVEREV BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”93″>Ooh er. Zverev has a chance now with a mini break at 0-30. He senses his moment, comes into the net, but Thiem pushes him back again and then delivers a fantastic overhead into the corner. And what composure from Thiem on the next point, tapping a volley over the net, almost toying with Zverev. The German stares across the net at his friend, with an almost ‘are you sure?’ look. What composure. But wait Zverev isn’t going away. Break point now and he makes the break as Thiem pulls a groundstroke wide. ZVEREV BREAKS. 

11:44 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-4 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Zverev looks to be steadily progressing through his service game before Thiem unleashes a perfect winner down the line for 30-15. The second seed hangs around, reeling Zverev in again at 40-30 but the German puts him back in his box with a volley cross-court. 

11:38 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-3 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem inconsistent on his serve now. Follows double fault with a forehand error. But the Austria holds his nerve, goes for a forehand down the line, loaded with spin which lands perfectly into the corner. Crucial point at 30-all now, but Thiem shows nerves of steel again, opting to go for the drive volley at close range for game point. An ace gets him over the line. Got out of jail on that one too. 

 

11:33 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 2-3 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

It’s unlucky No 13 for Zverev. That’s 13 doubles for the final for the German, a staggering figure but not an unusual stat for the big server. The good news is, that he recovers to surge to two game points with a sublime backhand down the line. At 40-30 he sends down an ace. What a strange and fluctuating player Zverev is. 

 

11:29 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 2-2 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Brilliant hands from Zverev again at the net. From 40-0 down, the German plops a delightful drop shot which Thiem can’t chase down. It’s the only point he manages to take off the Austrian’s serve, mind. 

11:24 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 1-2 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Finally, finally, a point worthy of the biggest occasion as both players push each other to the limit with their variety and skill. Zverev comes into the net and pushes a drop shot which Thiem tries to chase down to no avail. More of those points please.

Unfortunately, from the good, comes the bad as Zverev loosely tosses a forehand into the tramlines. He stays strong, shows good resolve and maybe all is not lost for the fifth seed. It’snow getting interesting. 

 

11:19 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 1-1 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

The clock ticks past the three hour mark as Zverev shows he won’t go away, pulling out a quite brilliant backhand winner down the line for his own break point at 30-40.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Thiem lets the nerves get the better of him. He sends down a double and Zverev lets out a massive 'c'mon'. That's gonna hurt. ZVEREV BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”119″>Thiem lets the nerves get the better of him. He sends down a double and Zverev lets out a massive ‘c’mon’. That’s gonna hurt. ZVEREV BREAKS. 

11:15 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 1-0 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Not the way Zverev would've wanted to start the deciding set with another double to hand Thiem a 15-30 lead. The German goes for broke on the next point, slapping a forehand down the line, but it's wide. Thiem with two break points now. Zverev hits wide, the head drops. It could be one-way traffic from here on. THIEM BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”122″>Not the way Zverev would’ve wanted to start the deciding set with another double to hand Thiem a 15-30 lead. The German goes for broke on the next point, slapping a forehand down the line, but it’s wide. Thiem with two break points now. Zverev hits wide, the head drops. It could be one-way traffic from here on. THIEM BREAKS. 

11:10 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The tables have turned now. Thiem looking a changed player. He brings up three set points. He only needs one. We're going five. THIEM WINS FOURTH SET” data-reactid=”125″>The tables have turned now. Thiem looking a changed player. He brings up three set points. He only needs one. We’re going five. THIEM WINS FOURTH SET

 

11:07 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 5-3 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Thiem delivers a brilliant pass to deny Zverev of a hold at 40-30 but then loops a backhand well wide from deep at the back of the court. He gives himself a little pep talk. He can't believe he didn't at least make Zverev win the point. The second seed throwing everything into his groundstrokes now as he draws back to deuce. Zverev throws in another double at the worst possible moment to hand Thiem a break point. Thiem has the break. The second seed will serve for the fourth set. THIEM BREAKS” data-reactid=”130″>Thiem delivers a brilliant pass to deny Zverev of a hold at 40-30 but then loops a backhand well wide from deep at the back of the court. He gives himself a little pep talk. He can’t believe he didn’t at least make Zverev win the point. The second seed throwing everything into his groundstrokes now as he draws back to deuce. Zverev throws in another double at the worst possible moment to hand Thiem a break point. Thiem has the break. The second seed will serve for the fourth set. THIEM BREAKS

10:59 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 4-3 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem affords himself a fist pump after showing soft hands at the net. We haven’t seen Thiem shaking his fist in delight too much this evening. The Austrian certainly seems to have a spring in his step again. The errors creeping into Zverev’s game as the set progresses. 

10:54 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 3-3 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem takes advantage of a poor volley from Zverev to whip a passing winner down the line. The Austrian is energised now. A tete-a-tete at the ends in Thiem’s favour when the No 2 seed punches another pass down the line. Zverev saves the ensuing double break points and then gets on the front foot in the next rally, stepping into the court and drilling a winner into the corner for advantage. Very aggressive from Zverev, he holds.  

Thiem hits a return against Zverev - ShutterstockThiem hits a return against Zverev - Shutterstock

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Thiem hits a return against Zverev – Shutterstock

 

10:48 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 3-2 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem looking more solid on his serve now, shaking off those first-serve yips which caused his downfall in the first two sets. Another comfortable hold to love. Strange set this one. Indeed strange final all round. 

10:45 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 2-2 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Steadier service games from both men now. Zverev looks to have wrapped up a comfortable hold to love with an ace down the T but the ball didn’t clip the line. Not to worry, two points later and he’s back level this set. 

10:42 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 2-1 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem just doing enough this service game to keep his nose in front and edges to 40-15. An over-rule on the next point called out by the lines judge allows Thiem of a comfortable hold again.

 

10:38 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 1-1 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Soft hands from Zverev at the net to edge 30-15. He backs it up with ace No 11, but it’s been a long time since his last. Another ace puts him on the board in this fourth set. 

10:33 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Solid hitting at the start of the fourth set with Thiem 30-0. Both men striking deep, Zverev blinking first. It’s a comfortable hold to love. 

10:28 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 6-4 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The standard really has been poor during this third set. Gruelling baseline rallies have been in short supply and both men have struggled with their first serves at various points across the evening. Zverev opens the door for Thiem, handing the Austrian two set points. He loops a forehand into the tramlines and hands the second seed the set. Poor, very poor. THIEM BREAKS TO WIN THIRD SET.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”177″>The standard really has been poor during this third set. Gruelling baseline rallies have been in short supply and both men have struggled with their first serves at various points across the evening. Zverev opens the door for Thiem, handing the Austrian two set points. He loops a forehand into the tramlines and hands the second seed the set. Poor, very poor. THIEM BREAKS TO WIN THIRD SET. 

10:23 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 5-4 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Sloppy play from Thiem to allow Zverev back at 30-all with a loose forehand into the tramlines. The Austrian goes for broke on the next point, the ball is called out, Thiem challenges and the ball did clip the line with the smallest of margins. Thiem falters first during a belting rally at 40-30 with a limp backhand into the middle. The Austrian opts to shorten the rally on the next point. It pays dividends. It’s another crucial hold. 

10:18 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 4-4 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Great serving from Zverev now. A 140mph belter flies down the T on his way to two game points at 40-15. Thiem is gifted a free point when Zverev sends down a double, and then Thiem senses a moment at deuce when he sends a magnificent backhand winner past Zverev. 

With the clock passing the two hour mark, Zverev forces an error from Thiem’s forehand wing to draw level again this set. 

10:11 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 4-3 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem digs deep at 0-30 down to pull out a big groundstroke winner. He guards the baseline well during the next rally to draw level and then slams home a forehand winner for a third straight point. After being taken to deuce, he gets over the line. He’s looking steely and determined once again. 

10:06 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 3-3 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Nicely done from Zverev as he gets down low to pat a drop shot over and out of Thiem’s reach. It’s a comfortable hold for the fifth seed. That will help calm any nerves as we get closer to the business end of this set. 

10:02 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 3-2 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

That break has done the world of good to Thiem and lifted his shoulders. A few first serves are timely too. He holds to love. This set is too tough to call. 

Thiem gets down low to make a return - USA TodayThiem gets down low to make a return - USA Today

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Thiem gets down low to make a return – USA Today

 

09:59 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 2-2 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem isn’t getting agitated or vocal out there, just looks like he wants to be anywhere but this empty arena with the world’s tennis fans looking on open-mouthed by what is going on out there. 

While Zverev has shown flashes of his brilliance, the fifth seed is doing a most remarkable job of concentrating on his own game and not letting Thiem’s inconsistency affect him. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But wait, Zverev now having a dip, handing Thiem a break point. Thiem squanders the chance, pulling a forehand wide. No worries, he has another chance. This time he looks to have made it but his return is long. He keeps knocking at the door. Sets up a third and then fourth break point. He finally makes it when Zverev plops a reply into the tramlines. THIEM BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”219″>But wait, Zverev now having a dip, handing Thiem a break point. Thiem squanders the chance, pulling a forehand wide. No worries, he has another chance. This time he looks to have made it but his return is long. He keeps knocking at the door. Sets up a third and then fourth break point. He finally makes it when Zverev plops a reply into the tramlines. THIEM BREAKS. 

09:49 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 1-2 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem throwing in another sloppy service game again to hand Zverev a mini-break at 0-30 before getting on the board. He’s blowing hard with every service point, frantically trying to get himself out of this rut. He’s shown glimpses of his best in the last couple of services games, but he’s returned to the Thiem of the first set. Two break points again for Zverev. He can’t make the first and finally, Thiem delivers a big first serve to deny the big man at the second attempt.

Thiem wants the Stadium to swallow him up now as he slaps a regulation volley into the net. You really feel for him out there. He just hasn’t been able to show up. Zverev has the break. Ouch, that’s going to hurt. ZVEREV BREAKS.

09:45 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6, 1-1 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem isn’t respecting social distance rules much as he stands side-by-side with a lineswoman. It’s giving Zverev enough space to engineer enough space to dictate the points. It’s a comfortable hold. 

09:43 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-6, 1-0 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

No man in a US Open final in the Open era has ever come back from two sets down to win, but Thiem is starting to show signs of getting his game into gear. 

It’s a great response from losing the second set. He holds to 30 after going on the front foot and coming into the net to force Zverev to make the lob. He knows he has to change things up if he is to have any chance of creating a piece of history tonight. 

09:37 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 4-6 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Good play from both men now, finally, in a baseline-duel filled with heavy groundstrokes. It ends in Zverev's favour as he edges to a 30-15 lead. He then makes it 40-30 and set point No 5 when this time he makes a comfortable volley. That will give him confidence. He takes it by stepping in and punching a backhand volley down the line. ZVEREV TAKES SECOND SET.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”233″>Good play from both men now, finally, in a baseline-duel filled with heavy groundstrokes. It ends in Zverev’s favour as he edges to a 30-15 lead. He then makes it 40-30 and set point No 5 when this time he makes a comfortable volley. That will give him confidence. He takes it by stepping in and punching a backhand volley down the line. ZVEREV TAKES SECOND SET. 

09:32 PM

Thiem 2-6, 4-5 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem with a spring in his step now after that reprieve with Zverev still replaying that missed volley in his head no doubt. The second seed races to three game points. It’s the first time he’s had such clear water on his serve. And what a point from Thiem to hold to love. He makes a great pick up and floats a delightful winner past Zverev at the net. Sublime. A comeback on the cards??

 

09:29 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 3-5 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

How’s Zverev’s nerves now then, trying to close out the second set? He’s definitely tightening up, a double handing Thiem the lead at 15-30. But the German keeps his cool to turn the game in his favour but inexplicably at set point No 4 he pushes a regulation volley into the tramlines.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="He goes again at deuce, only to send down a double, a booming second serve just missing the line. But wait, wait. Thiem finally has a look at a break point. He suddenly has energy in his legs and he breaks for the first time in the final. THIEM BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”242″>He goes again at deuce, only to send down a double, a booming second serve just missing the line. But wait, wait. Thiem finally has a look at a break point. He suddenly has energy in his legs and he breaks for the first time in the final. THIEM BREAKS. 

09:23 PM

Thiem 2-6, 2-5 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem not even making it hard work for Zverev now as a few more free points take the German to set point. This time Thiem ventures to the net and forces Zverev to go wide. But two points later, another error from Thiem and it’s set point No 2. Zverev is calmness personified as the next one passes by, but he unleashes a quite brilliant service return to set up set point No 3. Now that was tasty. Zverev swings at the next service return, and now finally Thiem has a game point and a chance to get another game on the board. Zverev will indeed have to serve for the set. 

09:16 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 1-5 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Zverev still keeping his head and composure as he rattles through another service game, but surely he has to wonder why Thiem’s so off this evening. A comfortable hold and Thiem can’t get a breather right now. 

09:13 PM

Thiem 2-6, 1-4 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Thiem looks around at the empty seats on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the scoreboard again ticking along in Zverev's favour. Two more break points and this is quite astounding how poorly Thiem is playing this evening – and to be fair how well Zverev is playing. Two break points saved, but another unforced error hands Zverev a third bite at the cherry. And this time he makes it count. Zverev hangs around in a lengthy rally and Thiem blinks&nbsp;first. ZVEREV BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”251″>Thiem looks around at the empty seats on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the scoreboard again ticking along in Zverev’s favour. Two more break points and this is quite astounding how poorly Thiem is playing this evening – and to be fair how well Zverev is playing. Two break points saved, but another unforced error hands Zverev a third bite at the cherry. And this time he makes it count. Zverev hangs around in a lengthy rally and Thiem blinks first. ZVEREV BREAKS. 

 

09:08 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 1-3 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Back-to-back sloppy points from Zverev allows Thiem to edge to 0-30 for the first time off the German’s serve. The fifth seed shakes himself from his nap, draws level and then allows Thiem back in at deuce with a double fault. It’s the first blip he’s had this final. Zverev digs in to stutter over the line this game, much to Thiem’s frustration. That could have been a chance missed this set. 

09:02 PM

Thiem 2-6, 1-2 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="While the error count continues to mount for Thiem, Zverev is keeping his head, staying focus and executing his shots. The German lets rip at 30-all with an outstanding forehand winner on the run which lands flush on the baseline. It hands him another break opportunity. They really are coming thick an fast. Thiem over-eggs a forehand and this match is running away from the second seed. ZVEREV BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”259″>While the error count continues to mount for Thiem, Zverev is keeping his head, staying focus and executing his shots. The German lets rip at 30-all with an outstanding forehand winner on the run which lands flush on the baseline. It hands him another break opportunity. They really are coming thick an fast. Thiem over-eggs a forehand and this match is running away from the second seed. ZVEREV BREAKS. 

Zverev is in full control against Thiem - ShutterstockZverev is in full control against Thiem - Shutterstock

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Zverev is in full control against Thiem – Shutterstock

 

08:58 PM

Thiem* 2-6, 1-1 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

A blink and you miss it kind of service game for Zverev who holds to love. In a flash, the pressure is back on Thiem. 

08:57 PM

Thiem 2-6, 1-0 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Worth noting and reminding that Thiem was suffering with an Achilles problem at the end of his semi-final win two nights ago. He doesn’t seem to be suffering with injury, but it could be playing on his mind and an explanation for his below par start. That and the fact he headed into this final as the slight favourite, not something he has been accustomed to in previous major finales.  

The errors keep coming as Zverev has a look at an early break at the start of the second. Another first serve goes begging. He opts for a kicked second serve and, with some deep hitting, denies Zverev of the break. Thiem isn’t making life easy for himself, but battles on to hold. 

08:48 PM

Thiem* 2-6 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Zverev has benefitted from stepping in and mopping up at the net. He’s seven from seven now as he storms to a 30-0 lead before he gets in two minds over a second serve and throws in his first double of the final.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Thiem levels at 30-all with a pass but it's plain sailing for Zverev. He takes the first set after just 30 minutes. That's only the second set Thiem has dropped this fortnight.&nbsp;ZVEREV WINS FIRST SET” data-reactid=”291″>Thiem levels at 30-all with a pass but it’s plain sailing for Zverev. He takes the first set after just 30 minutes. That’s only the second set Thiem has dropped this fortnight. ZVEREV WINS FIRST SET

08:44 PM

Thiem 2-5 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Thiem struggling still to make a first serve. Another double gifts Zverev another free-point for 15-30. Zverev is frequently making inroads into Thiem's service games. The Austrian responds at 30-all with a timely ace but Zverev keeps on coming. A sweet, sweet forehand into the corner takes him to deuce and a third double fault hands Zverev another break point. What is going on with Thiem's serve. Another first serve goes missing, and another unforced error hands Zverev a free game. ZVEREV BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”295″>Thiem struggling still to make a first serve. Another double gifts Zverev another free-point for 15-30. Zverev is frequently making inroads into Thiem’s service games. The Austrian responds at 30-all with a timely ace but Zverev keeps on coming. A sweet, sweet forehand into the corner takes him to deuce and a third double fault hands Zverev another break point. What is going on with Thiem’s serve. Another first serve goes missing, and another unforced error hands Zverev a free game. ZVEREV BREAKS. 

 

08:39 PM

Thiem* 2-4 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

After slow starts in his semi and quarter-final matches, Zverev has come out all guns blazing. He holds to love for a second straight game. Impressive. 

08:36 PM

Thiem 2-3 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Wild from Thiem as a one-handed backhand flies long. The second seed is all over the place, the error count ticking over faster than he would want. From 30-0 Thiem recovers to 30-all and then finds his groove, stepping in to retrieve a short ball and drill a forehand winner into the corner. But he’s caught napping on the baseline during the next point, taking a second to respond to a Zverev return. Decent response from Thiem, though, digs deep to hold. 

08:31 PM

Thiem* 1-3 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Zverev opting to rush the net during his second service game, looking to cut short the rallies against Thiem. It’s a tactic which is working wonders early on in this final. The German is brimming with confidence. He holds to love. 

08:27 PM

Thiem 1-2 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Nerves possibly from Thiem early on as he throws down a double to hand Zverev a 15-30 lead. It soon turns into two break points for the German with another unforced error. Thiem can't get a first-serve in. He shows great courage to step in and take the volley on the full to deny Zverev the first break point. But Zverev is all over his good friend at the net during the next point. ZVEREV BREAKS.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”309″>Nerves possibly from Thiem early on as he throws down a double to hand Zverev a 15-30 lead. It soon turns into two break points for the German with another unforced error. Thiem can’t get a first-serve in. He shows great courage to step in and take the volley on the full to deny Zverev the first break point. But Zverev is all over his good friend at the net during the next point. ZVEREV BREAKS. 

08:23 PM

Thiem* 1-1 Zverev (*denotes next to serve)

Boom. Zverev opens his service game with a belting first serve down the T which Thiem can only get a racket head on but can’t direct. Zverev uses all of his 6ft 6in frame to exert his power over Thiem, racing to two game points at 40-15. An ace gets his first game on the board. 

08:20 PM

Thiem 1-0 Zverev* (*denotes next to serve)

Thiem gets proceedings under way and registers the first points on the board, Zverev pushing long on a forehand and unable to make a service return. 

Zverev wins the opening lengthy rally with a forehand winner down the line for 30-15 but then whips his next forehand, this time a cross-court one, into the middle. Thiem is on the board when Zverev can’t get up and under his next forehand. 

 

08:11 PM

Here they come

Zverev is first up to enter the Arthur Ashe Stadium and heads straight to the pre-match microphone, weighed down with bags on either shoulder. Come on, at least allow the players to drop off their luggage!

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Thiem follows a minute later. Takes a deep breath before answering a couple of questions. Seems pretty pointless these on-court interviews before the warm-up, but hey-ho.&nbsp;
The warm-up is underway.
” data-reactid=”322″>Thiem follows a minute later. Takes a deep breath before answering a couple of questions. Seems pretty pointless these on-court interviews before the warm-up, but hey-ho. 
The warm-up is underway.

07:49 PM

Head-to-head

Thiem and Zverev are good friends off the court, but Zverev will be desperate to get one over his buddy this evening.

The Austria has won seven of their nine battles including the last three. You have to go back to 2018 when Zverev notched up a W on the red clay in Madrid.

 

07:29 PM

Mixed emotions for Brits in finals

Britain’s Jordanne Whiley clinched her 11th grand slam title alongside Japanese partner Yui Kamiji in the women’s wheelchair doubles earlier. 

Alfie Hewett, however, couldn’t defend his men’s wheelchair title and make it a double success for Brits in finals today. Hewett lost his near three-hour tussle to Japan’s Shingo Kunieda in the tiebreak. 

 

07:19 PM

Osaka’s trophy celebrations

Last night, Naomi Osaka won her third major title with an astonishing comeback win over Victoria Azarenka.

Today she’s been enjoying getting out and about with her latest piece of silverware for the traditional post-final photoshoot – albeit still in the bio-secure bubble of Flushing Meadows.

 

07:09 PM

Route to the final

Thiem has been a man on a mission this past fortnight, steam-rolling every opponent in his way.

The 27-year-old has only dropped one set so far, to 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the third round. 

Thiem demolished Andy Murray’s conqueror Felix Auger-Aliassime in the following round and dismantled another two members of the Next Gen club in Australia’s Alex de Minaur and last year’s finalist Daniil Medvedev.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="1st round: Jaume Munar (Spain) 7-6(6) 6-3 retired.” data-reactid=”346″>1st round: Jaume Munar (Spain) 7-6(6) 6-3 retired.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2nd round: Sumit Nagal (India) 6-3 6-3 6-2″ data-reactid=”347″>2nd round: Sumit Nagal (India) 6-3 6-3 6-2

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="3rd round: 31-Marin Cilic (Croatia) 6-2 6-2 3-6 6-3″ data-reactid=”348″>3rd round: 31-Marin Cilic (Croatia) 6-2 6-2 3-6 6-3

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="4th round: 15-Felix Auger-Aliassime (Canada) 7-6(4) 6-1 6-1″ data-reactid=”349″>4th round: 15-Felix Auger-Aliassime (Canada) 7-6(4) 6-1 6-1

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Quarters: 21-Alex de Minaur (Australia) 6-1 6-2 6-4″ data-reactid=”350″>Quarters: 21-Alex de Minaur (Australia) 6-1 6-2 6-4

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Semis: 3-Daniil Medvedev (Russia) 6-2 7-6(7) 7-6(5)” data-reactid=”351″>Semis: 3-Daniil Medvedev (Russia) 6-2 7-6(7) 7-6(5)

 

Zverev, meanwhile, needed four sets to see off two-time major finalist Kevin Anderson in his opening round and has recovered from losing the first set on three occasions en route to his place in tonight’showpiece.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="1st round: Kevin Anderson (South Africa) 7-6(2) 5-7 6-3 7-5″ data-reactid=”354″>1st round: Kevin Anderson (South Africa) 7-6(2) 5-7 6-3 7-5

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2nd&nbsp;round: Brandon Nakashima (U.S.) 7-5 6-7(8) 6-3 6-1″ data-reactid=”355″>2nd round: Brandon Nakashima (U.S.) 7-5 6-7(8) 6-3 6-1

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="3rd round: 32-Adrian Mannarino (France) 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2 6-2″ data-reactid=”356″>3rd round: 32-Adrian Mannarino (France) 6-7(4) 6-4 6-2 6-2

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="4th round: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (Spain) 6-2 6-2 6-1″ data-reactid=”357″>4th round: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (Spain) 6-2 6-2 6-1

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Quarters&nbsp;27-Borna Coric (Croatia) 1-6 7-6(5) 7-6(1) 6-3″ data-reactid=”358″>Quarters 27-Borna Coric (Croatia) 1-6 7-6(5) 7-6(1) 6-3

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Semis: 20-Pablo Carreno Busta (Spain) 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3″ data-reactid=”359″>Semis: 20-Pablo Carreno Busta (Spain) 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3

06:38 PM

Awaiting the first new champion in six years

And so it comes down to this.

Seven days after the biggest headline to come out of the men’s draw – with the disqualification of Novak Djokovic – the two players much fancied to take advantage of the world No 1’s exit are lining up at opposite ends of the Arthur Ashe Stadium this evening. 

Tonight, for the first time since 2014, we will see a first-time men’s major winner when either Dominic Thiem or Alexander Zverev are told they can lift the trophy.

Without Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Djokovic, who have combined to win the past 13 grand slams and 56 of the last 67, Theim and Zverev have an opportunity to etch their name in the history books behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows. 

It is new ground for the fifth-seeded Zverev, who is into his first grand slam final. Thiem has been knocking on the door now for some time now. The Andy Murray of the last three years if you like, with three major final defeats to Nadal twice at the French Open (2018, 2019) and at this year’s Australian Open to the hands of Djokovic.

While Thiem might have the experience of the occasion, although this year’s US Open is somewhat changed to usual major showpieces, the Austria heads into tonight’s battle with a niggling injury to his Achilles heel.

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. 

The same can’t be said for Zverev, who played two atrocious sets of tennis in his last-four battle with Pablo Carreno Busta, before finally getting his act together to get over the line in five.

Zverev won’t be let off the hook by the talented and terrier-like style of Thiem at the baseline. His first serve will be crucial to the early proceedings, having fired down 116 aces during the tournament compared to Thiem’s 41. 

The players will take to the court at 9pm, so stay with us for build up before game-by-game updates.

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