After three lost finals, Dominic Thiem's first major triumph arrives at the US Open. Zverev dominates the first two sets, then fear grips him and undergoes the reversal. For the first time a person born in the 90s wins a Grand Slam: now the 27-year-old is aiming for Roland Garros and for first place in the standings, Djokovic and Nadal are warned.
The World No 3 believes when the Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic return to play Grand Slam tennis again he will be better suited to take them on.
Thiem on the Big 3
"I expect it's going to be easier for me now in the biggest tournaments," Dominic Thiem said.
"I had it in the back of my head that I had a great career so far, way better than I could ever dreamt of, but until today there was still a big goal missing. With this achieved, I hope that I'm going to be a little bit more relaxed and play a little bit more freely at the biggest events."
Thiem dedicated his victory to his family after years of dedicating himself to the sport. "Definitely achieved a life goal, a dream, which I had for many, many years," he added. "Back then it was so far away. Then I got closer to the top and realised that maybe one day I could really win one of the four biggest titles.
Thiem was desperate to lift a major trophy. Three times previously he had reached the final of a Grand Slam and fallen short. He entered Sunday’s US Open championship match as the favourite for the first time. The Austrian was so agonisingly close to achieving his biggest goal.
That made it even more difficult for him to win. “Maybe it was not even good that I played in previous major finals,” Thiem said. Nobody on the ATP Tour swings freer than Thiem. The Austrian is known for his massive groundstrokes and incredible shotmaking.
If there’s one player who doesn’t get cheated when he swings, it’s Thiem. But in the biggest match of his career, the 27-year-old’s loose swings were restricted. The more Thiem wanted the trophy, the tighter he got.
“I wanted this title so much and of course [it] was also in my head that if I lost this one, it's 0-4 [in major finals],” Thiem said. “It's always in your head: ‘Is this chance ever coming back again?’ This, that, all these thoughts, which are not great to play your best tennis, to play free”.