Michael Kohlmann: 'Alexander Zverev played better than Dominic Thiem before..'

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Michael Kohlmann: 'Alexander Zverev played better than Dominic Thiem before..'

The German Davis Cup captain Michael Kohlmann believes that Alexander Zverev will soon show his full potential and chase big titles. The three-time Masters 1000 winner and the ATP Finals champion had a solid season behind him, winning back-to-back ATP 250 tournaments in Cologne and reaching the Paris Masters final.

Still, his best result came at the US Open, where he had a massive chance to become a Major champion against Dominic Thiem before falling in five sets. Kohlmann noticed improvement's in Alexander's game, saying he seeks solutions on the court even when he doesn't play at his best.

For Kohlmann, Zverev is still the new generation leader, expecting even better results from him in the years to come. Playing in his fourth Major final, Thiem survived all the obstacles to beat Zverev 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 in four hours and one minute, performing the most remarkable comeback in men's Major finals since Roland Garros 2004.

Competing in his first Major title match, Alexander had everything in his hands, winning the opening two sets in 80 minutes and serving for the title at 5-3 in the decider, squandering all that to finish runner-up. The German made a furious start, firing 16 winners and dropping three points on serve in the opener to leave the Austrian far behind.

Continuing where he left in the first, Zverev stormed over Thiem in the opening six games of the second set to forge a 5-1 advantage. The Austrian sprayed a forehand error in the third game to fall behind and faced three set points at 1-5, digging deep to get out of jail and prolong the set.

Finding his shots, Thiem fended off another on the return to pull one break back and reduce the deficit to 4-5 after a hold at love. With no room for errors, Alexander grabbed the second set with a hold in game ten, taking a massive two sets to love lead after 80 minutes!

Alexander Zverev squandered two sets to love lead vs. Thiem in New York.

Zverev broke in the third game of the third set when Thiem landed a forehand beyond the baseline, suffering a break a few minutes later to keep the rival on the positive side of the scoreboard.

At 4-4, Dominic brought the game home after deuce and made one of the pivotal moves, stealing Alexander's serve at 15 when the German sent a forehand wide to clinch the set 6-4 and prolong the encounter. Carried by this momentum, Thiem had a clear upper hand on the court in set number four, dropping two points behind the initial shot and creating two break chances at 3-2.

Zverev saved them and stayed in touch, netting a forehand in game eight to fall 5-3 behind and allowing Thiem to secure the set and force a decider. They traded early breaks, and Alexander clinched another in game eight to forge a 5-3 lead and serve for the trophy.

He couldn't bring it home after netting an easy volley at the net to keep Thiem alive, suffering another break in game 11. It was Dominic's turn to serve for the title, cracking under pressure like his rival and getting broken to introduce the first-ever deciding tie break in the US Open's men's final.

From 6-4 down, Alexander saved two match points to level the score, losing another point at the net and spraying a backhand mistake in the 14th point to hand the title to Dominic. "Alexander has shown improvements in 2020, seeking solutions to win matches even when not playing at his best.

That's what great players do. In the US Open final against Dominic Thiem, he was a much better player in the first two sets, not losing ground despite a remarkable comeback from the Austrian and having his chances. I think he will reach his full potential soon," Michael Kohlmann said.