US Open: Alexander Zverev Overcomes Two-Set Deficit to Advance to First Major Final Will Play Dominic Thiem for the Title
(September 11, 2020) Alexander Zverev rallied to reach his first major final, beating Pablo Carreño Busta 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 at the US Open on Friday night in three hours and 23 minutes.
Zverev will be trying to become the first German to win a major since 1996 when Boris won the Australian Open.
The No. 5 seed won his first career comeback from two sets down and the first in the US Open final four since Novak Djokovic did it to Roger Federer back in 2011.
“I can’t wait for the final.”
Zverev was in his second major semifinal, he also reached the final four at the Australian Open.
“I’m through to my first Grand Slam final. That’s all that matters,” Zverev said on-court. “I knew I had to play better. I’d never come back from two sets to love. That was the first time in my career. But I’m happy to do it at this stage, in the semifinal of a Grand Slam. I couldn’t be happier, but there’s still one more step to go for me.”
“I looked at the scoreboard after two sets, ” Them said in his news conference. “I thought to myself, Look, I’m playing a Grand Slam semifinal, I’m down 6-3, 6-2 in a match where on paper I’m supposed to be the favorite.
“I needed to play better, start something new. I thought, Okay, I’m going to go set by set, we’ll see how far I can get. It turned out well in the end.
“Obviously it was very close. Pablo deserved to be in the final just as much as I did. Yeah, a few points here or there on either side of the match.”
Zverev is now 14-6 in five-set matches.
“Sunday is going to be extremely difficult no matter who I play of those guys,” the German said to media.
“But I’m looking forward to it. Yeah, I’m in the final of a Grand Slam. The two best players in the world are going to be playing on court.”
Dominic Thiem came back from a break down and set points down in the final two sets to defeat last year’s finalist Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 7-6(7), 7-6(5). The No. 2 seed is now in his first US Open final, his fourth overall.
The 27-year-old Austrian also over came a left Achilles tendon injury in the third set.
Thiem had a 3-2 lead when his Russian opponent got into a bit of a controversy with the chair umpire when he hit a serve which he thought was long in the sixth game. He challenged but the umpire said it was too late. Medvedev then crossed over to the other side of the court to try and point out the ball mark. He was called for a code violation and tried to plead his case in a sarcastic tone to Grand Slam supervisor Wayne McKewen.
“Sorry, I think I killed someone, right? Sorry, I was so bad to cross the net. Sorry, my apologies, my sincere apologies to the US Open for crossing the net. Oh my God.”
“I was just really angry,” Medvedev said to media. “Of course, there was no reason to talk to him. But what surprises me sometimes in tennis is, okay, the supervisor is always there in case, let’s say, for example, a default. He steps up, calls a default. It’s not the decision of an umpire.
“For example, talking about my code violation today, I mean, what did I do? Did I hurt someone? Did I say something rude? I didn’t do anything. I get a code. I’m like, Supervisor, do something. Why are you sitting here?
“I still don’t know the answer to this question.”
“The first set was little bit weird, also unlucky for him with this challenge,” Thiem said. “Well, I still don’t know if the ball was in or out. These things are happening.
“Then set two and three was very high level, as I said. We could have both won it probably. He was even the little better player until he served for the set. Twice exactly in the right situation I broke back. Very big key game was 5-All second set where I saved I think four or five breakpoints. Was a super long game. I think this was a big key point.
“As I said, for sure the toughest straight-sets win I ever had because could have been easily completely different.”
Thiem broke serve for 4-2 and went on to work the first set 6-2. The next two sets were almost mirror images of each other. Thiem fell behind an early break, saved set points and broke serve as Medvedev was about to serve for the set.
“I think I had a set point, and he served to my backhand, ” Medvedev said. “I was actually thinking where he’s going to serve. It all comes to these small moments.
“I think it’s more in general he had a little bit of more, I don’t know how to call it, had a little bit more energy tonight maybe. Let’s call it a winning energy. I think it was feeling throughout all the match. That’s why I was serving two times for the set.
“I didn’t do anything wrong, but he was playing really good. He fought till the end. I also fought for it till the end.
“We can discuss for hours about this, maybe I should have played cross, down the line. But tennis is not only about this, and he was really good tonight.”
“Talking about first set, he was actually playing good also, Dominic,” Medvedev said. “I lost my concentration, started doing some errors. So, yeah, was a bit far from winning this first set.
“What I would do different in this semifinal? Probably not much. I mean, we can talk about some shots, losing concentration in the first set. But Dominic played really good.
“Tennis is all about small points. Sometimes you win these points; sometimes you lose them. Today I lost the most important points. That’s how he got the win.”
Thiem and Medvedev had long rallies throughout the match which lasted almost three hours.
“I’m looking forward to play that first major final against him [Zverev],” he said in his on-court interview with ESPN.” Well if I win I have my first if not, I have to call Andy Murray how it is with 0-4.”
“I was joking about it.” Thiem admitted in his news conference.
“Well, it’s easy for Andy because he has won three in the meantime. But, well, that’s not what I’m thinking about Sunday. I just going to go in fully focused, like in all the six previous matches. Well, the world continues no matter what’s result is, so it’s going to be fine.
“Of course, I’m super happy that I gave myself another chance to be in the finals, pretty quick after Australia. Going to be a great one against a very good friend and a great rival.”
Thiem goes into the final with a 7-2 head-to-head career advantage against Zverev. The winner will become the first non “Big 4” champion since 2016 when Stan Wawrinka won the US Open. Also the winner will be the first major champion born in 1990’s.
“It’s nice that I’m in front in the head-to-head 7-2, “noted the Austrian. “When we both step on the court on Sunday, it doesn’t matter anymore. I mean, the moment we start the finals, we both want to win with everything we have. That’s all I focus on.
“A good record against Sascha, it doesn’t help me at all. I expect a very tough, very open match.”
“We played an epic in Australia, ” said Zverev. “it’s going to be a new Grand Slam champion, but it’s going to be also a very difficult match I think.”
This year’s US Open finalists as photographed by Thibault Montamat for the September 2017 issue of Vogue. pic.twitter.com/47ZeBopPcm
— Bryan Armen Graham (@BryanAGraham) September 12, 2020