Dominic Thiem wins U.S. Openby Jeremy Freeborn
For the second time ever an Austrian man has won a major tennis tournament. On Sunday, second seed Dominic Thiem of Austria defeated fifth seed Alexander Zverev of Germany 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 in four hours and one minute. In the fifth set tiebreaker, Thiem defeated Zverev 8-6.
Thiem also becomes the first Austrian to win the U.S. Open. The first Austrian to win a grand slam tennis title was Thomas Muster of Leibnitz, Austria. Muster won the 1995 French Open as he beat American Michael Chang in straight sets in the final, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. At the time, Muster was seeded fifth. Muster reached number one in the world immediately following the 1996 Australian Open.
On Sunday, this was Thiem’s time to shine. He reached his fourth grand slam final as he previously lost 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to Rafael Nadal of Spain at the 2018 French Open, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to Nadal at the 2019 French Open, and 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in another five-set thriller to Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final of the 2020 Australian Open,
Where Thiem’s performance over Zverev will be legendary is the fact he came back from two sets down to win the major. The last player to win the U.S. Open after losing the first two sets of the final match was Pancho Gonzales of Los Angeles, CA, who defeated Ted Schroeder of Newark, New Jersey 16-18, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to win the 1949 United States National Championship from the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, NY.
Four other times a player was down two sets to none in the final of the U.S. Open and won the championship. In 1912, Maurice McLoughlin of Carson City, NV beat Wallace Johnson of Philadelphia, PA, 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. In 1922, Bill Tilden of Philadelphia, PA beat Bill Johnston of San Francisco, CA, 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. In 1940, Don McNeill of Chickasha, OK defeated Bobby Riggs of Los Angeles, CA, 4-6, 6-8, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5. In 1947, Jack Kramer of Las Vegas, NV defeated Frank Parker of Milwaukee, WI, 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0, 6-3.