2020 featured a sensational, stomach-churning final for the men’s US Open trophy. Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem battled for over 4 hours, each getting excruciatingly close to the crown. Jangly nerves, cramps, and courage played as large a role as each player’s formidable arsenal of shotmaking weaponry. The Austrian finally prevailed by the slimmest of margins in the final set tiebreaker. A heartbreaking pill for Zverev to somehow swallow, and the first major championship for Dominic Thiem, who had * just* enough will at the finish to outlast his friend.
26 year old Dominic Thiem has finally arrived on the world tennis stage. Having defeated Alexander Zverev in the 2020 Australian Open semifinals, employing his usual barrage of blistering drives smacked relentlessly into every corner, as well as great defensive skills, guile, boldness, and purpose, he now faces a formidable task: conquering 16-time major champion Novak Djokovic in the finals. However: the Austrian has gotten the better of the Serbian in four of their last five meetings, including two at Roland Garros, and one at the World Tour finals.
Dominic Thiem produced utterly brilliant tennis when it mattered most to edge the great Rafael Nadal at the 2020 Australian Open. This match featured unreal shotmaking, fierce competitive spirit, and admirable boldness/aggression from both players. Titanic exchanges were the norm, and each man was hitting rockets. Also noteworthy: Nadal’s extreme graciousness in defeat, giving Thiem full credit. The Austrian, too, was humble and thoughtful in victory; obviously, a great deal of mutual respect was present.
Thiem, who not only punished the ball relentlessly, but also showed outstanding defensive skills, deserved this massive win, ousting the immortal Rafa by the slimmest of margins, with seemingly endless blistering drives to both corners, and great heart.
(Now featuring bonus footage of the Nadal-Thiem 2018 US Open match.)