Dominic Thiem is the first Slam champion born in the nineties, after the five sets crazy win in the US Open final against Alexander Zverev. He was able of recovering two sets of disadvantage and serving for the match in the fifth (after getting bogged down on 3-5) but to close only at the final rush, with the gasoline hand practically close to zero.
We will inevitably also talk about the 150th Major champion in history. The illuminated scoreboard turns off on the New York Arthur Ashe Stadium when it is fixed on 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (6). Zverev interprets the challenge in the best way, mind you.
He often and willingly looks near the net, maintains incredibly high standards with the first ball and in return, he rarely loses inches in prolonged exchanges. Thiem, who dirties the second serving with a double foul and a forehand stick out of the service and which is repeated in the seventh game practically in the same way, collaborates decisively.
And the final 6-2 is practically a logical consequence. The Austrian tennis player is unable to free himself from the tension in any way. Yes, he cancels a break point in the opening game of the second fraction, but he doesn't find any real alternatives during the prolonged exchanges and rather sadly slips back two breaks.
With a 5-1 advantage to keep, in a situation of absolute tranquility, Zverev begins to see cracks in the wall. He wastes three set points in the seventh game, loses the measures of a very simple straight volley at 5-2 40-30, at 5-4 he even finds himself at 30-30.
Despite the fear, somehow understandable in the first Grand Slam final, the German finds the contribution of the serve in his time of need and closes at 6-4 after just under eighty minutes of play.
Thiem's comeback: the fifth set is a novel
From a genuinely technical point of view it is not an unforgettable show.
Quality and intensity constantly travel on two parallel lines. Zverev tries to give the initial whip (thanks to a break due to circumstances) but gets stuck with a handful of double faults at the decisive moment and calls the whole thing into question.
The Austrian tennis player, who does not bring any real improvements to the tactical project but which contains at least the number of unforced errors, then takes advantage of a total blackout of his opponent in the tenth game and pushes himself to at least the fourth.
Here, the best version of Thiem is practically visible only in the fourth. The world number three loses just two points with the available serve, makes just two unforced errors and with an extension in the seventh game he traces all the difference in the world.
Fear of winning and fear of losing. This is the mix of emotions that unequivocally marks the fifth and decisive set. Without good motivation, after an initial break exchange, Zverev finds himself at 5-3. And also on 5-6. A step away from the abyss the German takes advantage of a rather gross error and remains clinging to the challenge with a second duty at 68 mph (about 109 km / h) that Thiem is unable to manage.
Not bad: the Austrian tennis player makes no mistake with Zverev near the net and shortly afterwards he seals the success thanks to a backhand that the challenger presses out by at least ten centimeters. In the surreal silence of the New York centre court the scream of a new champion.