Dominic Thiem has come from two sets down to win his first major title at the US Open.
The Austrian second seed outlasted Alexander Zverev in a five-set grind on Sunday that neither man looked like they wanted to win.
Thiem came into the US Open final as the red-hot favourite, but the way he played in the opening stages made him look like he didn’t even deserve to be there.
Zverev took total control of the first two sets in Sunday’s final, shocking Thiem and the tennis world to lead 6-2, 6-4.
Playing in his fourth grand slam final and not having to worry about the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, many thought Thiem would blitz his German opponent.
But the Austrian was a shadow of the player who dominated Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals.
British journalist George Bellshaw wrote: “Hard to believe how bad Dominic Thiem has been tonight given the level he’s shown this tournament.”
Hard to believe how bad Dominic Thiem has been tonight given the level he’s shown this tournament… Alexander Zverev up a set and a double break. 6-2 4-1.
But in astonishing scenes, Thiem completely righted the ship and won the match in five sets.
Battling injury and down a break in the final set, Thiem pulled off the astonishing comeback to win 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.
It is the first time someone has won the US Open after losing the first two sets in the Open era.
A nervy Zverev had multiple chances to win the championship, but his serve deserted him in the crucial points.
Tennis fans and commentators were in disbelief as both players attempted to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, with many describing the match as ‘tough to watch’.
My god. Bring back Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer. That level was tough to watch. Neither one of them deserve a title.
That was tough to watch, maybe its a good thing. Nobody showed up. Need to be alot better if they think their goin to go anywhere this year.
What a match! Incredible comeback by Thiem. Great to see him finally win a Slam in his fourth final. Gotta feel for Zverev, though. Agonising. #USOpen
Second seed Thiem came into the match with a 7-2 head-to-head record against Zverev, who had to come back from two sets down for the first time in his career to overcome Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta to reach his maiden grand slam final.
Zverev made an incredible start in his bid to become Germany’s first men’s major champion since Boris Becker at the 1996 Australian Open.
The German won 16 of 19 points on his serve in the first set, which reached 222 km/h. He also broke Thiem’s serve twice.
“Thiem’s tight right now. He’s got to start taking a little off his first serve and get his percentage up,” John McEnroe said on ESPN.
Zverev opened a 5-1 lead in the second set before Thiem won three straight games to make it close.
“I did not see this happening so early but proves once again that Sascha without pressure is a whole different player,” journalist Zenia D’cunha tweeted.
US Open final
Actu monde – AU – ‘Tough to watch’: Disbelief over ‘shocking’ drama in US Open final