Twelve months ago, Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Zverev in a memorable US Open final for his first Major crown. The German led two sets to love and served for the victory in the fifth, squandering his chances and suffering a massive defeat in the deciding tie break to settle with the runner-up prize.
Alexander is among the title favorite in New York this year again, winning back-to-back titles in Tokyo and Cincinnati and traveling to New York with much confidence. Zverev kicked off the campaign with two solid victories before losing the opening set against Jack Sock in the third round.
Starting all over, Alexander took the upper hand in sets two and three before Jack retired at the beginning of the fourth to propel world no. 4 into the last 16. Alexander will now face the first top-tier rival, battling with the young Italian Jannik Sinner on Monday and hoping to remain on the title course.
Dominic Thiem gives Zverev the edge in that encounter, noting that Sinner already beat him at Majors but putting the German ahead due to his form. The German and the Italian faced twice so far, with both winning one match. Competing in only his fourth Major, the 19-year-old Sinner beat the more experienced Zverev 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in three hours at the last year's Roland Garros to become the youngest Roland Garros quarter-finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2006.
Dominic Thiem picks Alexander Zverev to beat Jannik Sinner in New York.
Nothing could separate Sinner and Zverev in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, with the younger opponent dominating the most extended rallies to forge the triumph in four sets.
Jannik delivered more efficient numbers behind the second serve, spraying 56 unforced errors but hitting more winners than the German, who opted to stay behind and defend. Alexander converted two out of eight break opportunities and suffered five breaks from six chances offered to Sinner, falling in four sets despite a solid effort considering the circumstances and a cold that had been bothering him for a couple of days.
A few weeks later in Cologne, Alexander beat Jannik 7-6, 6-3 in the semi-final. "Jannik Sinner should become a Major contender in the next couple of years. He has already beaten Alexander Zverev at Majors, but the German is the favorite in their US Open clash," Dominic Thiem said.