Alexander Zverev vs. Dominic Thiem: Highlights, Comments, Stats and Prize Money

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 14, 2020

Dominic Thiem, of Austria, holds up the championship trophy after defeating Alexander Zverev, of Germany, in the men's singles final of the US Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem overcame a two-set deficit to defeat No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) in a five-set thriller to decide the U.S. Open men's singles final on Sunday.

With the win, Thiem earned his first-ever Grand Slam singles title. He made three finals in the past, losing a pair of French Opens to Rafael Nadal and the 2020 Australian Open to Novak Djokovic.

This final marked Zverev's first foray into a Grand Slam final. The 23-year-old German came up short, but he'll assuredly be back in one someday as he continues his ascent toward the top of the sport.

With the win, Thiem won $3 million, while Zverev took home $1.5 million.

Here's a look at the most notable highlights, commentary and stats from the epic five-setter.

             

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Highlights

Thiem's third championship point try proved to be the winner as Zverev's backhand sailed wide:

Some forehand sorcery beforehand certainly helped matters:

However, Zverev didn't go away quietly, as he proved near-impossible to put away. This fifth-set rally is just one example:

Thiem was able to get that far because of excellent work in the third and fourth sets to crawl back to a 2-2 tie, with this rally ending the latter:

This point was arguably the most impressive in the fourth set:

But Zverev had some excellent shots as well, perhaps none better than this forehand in the second:

In the end, both men showcased impeccable class and sportsmanship:

That was to be expected, especially since the two have been friends since playing on the junior circuit, per Wayne Coffey for USA Today.

     

Comments

Tumaini Carayol of the Guardian painted a picture of the post-match scene:

And the Olympic Channel's Nick McCarvel encapsulated the match well:

Jose Morgado of the Diario Record is looking forward to the 2020 French Open with Thiem, a two-time runner-up at the event, having a major under his belt:

After watching the epic match, Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times made clear just how hard it is to win one Grand Slam final, let alone many as the game's current greats like Serena Williams and Roger Federer have done:

We'll soon find out if Thiem can begin stacking major titles when the French Open begins Sunday, Sept. 27. 

        

Historical Stats

Thiem did something no U.S. Open final participant had done since 1949 and no Grand Slam finalist since 2004, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Thiem found himself in a situation he had not come close to encountering in his run to the final. He lost just one set until facing Zverev, and that included a dominant straight-set victory over No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals.

Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, took the second set off Thiem in their third-round matchup. However, Thiem immediately bounced back with third- and fourth-set wins to take the match, 3-1. 

Bryan Armen Graham of the Guardian noted just how rare it is for a major final to feature a winner who came back after being down two sets to zero:

He's also a new face on the Grand Slam men's singles winner's scene, which hasn't happened in six years, per Christopher Clarey of the New York Times:

As such, he's the first player born in the 1990s to win a Grand Slam men's singles title:

A win looked awfully unlikely, per Stats Insider, but he pulled through anyway:

He became the first Austrian to win a U.S. Open men's singles tournament, having already made history for being the first from his home country to make the finals and semifinals.

Zverev launched a list of accomplishments as well, per the U.S. Open Twitter account:

Together, Thiem and Zverev put a bow on the 140th edition of the tournament.