Dominic Thiem will face Alexander Zverev in the final of the US Open after beating Daniil Medvedev.
The world No. 3 from Austria was forced to work hard in an incredibly physical encounter on Arthur Ashe Stadium, that lasted three hours despite him winning in straight sets.
Medvedev, the third seed from Russia, served for both the second and third sets but Thiem showed great resolve to fight back and eventually win 6-2 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-5).
It will be his fourth Grand Slam final but the first where he will not face one of the ‘Big Three’.
He has lost two major finals at Roland Garros to Rafael Nadal, while he was beaten in the Australian Open final at the start of this season by eight-time champion Novak Djokovic.
This time, he will face a Grand Slam final debutant in Alexander Zverev, who earlier fought back from two sets down to beat Pablo Carreno Busta.
Despite his struggles in the semi-finals, world No. 7 Zverev curiously claimed he was one of the best two players in the world. Something Djokovic and Nadal may question.
‘Sunday is going to be extremely difficult no matter who I play of those guys,’ said Zverev.
‘But I’m looking forward to it. Yeah, I’m in the final of a Grand Slam. The two best players in the world are going to be playing on court.’
Thiem, the first Austrian US Open finalist, will enter the final as favourite but Zverev may have a glimmer of hope after he was struggling with an Achilles issue in the clash with Medvedev.
He was fit enough to get over the line with adrenaline puming through his veins, but it could cause him problems if it does not recover sufficiently.
Medvedev was left incensed in the sixth game of the match.
On break point, he attempted to challenge his own serve – which was long – but the umpire would not allow it and Thiem broke.
Making his case, Medvedev walked to the other side of the court to point at the mark and was handed a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Addressing the supervisor at the side of the court, the Russian fifth seed sarcastically said: ‘My sincere apologies to US Open for crossing the net.’
Falling further behind, he berated the supervisor again: ‘You guys sit near the court all the time, you don’t do anything. You don’t do anything.’
After losing the set, Medvedev took himself off court to cool off and it paid dividends as he broke to start the second.
As Medvedev attempted to serve it out, Thiem struck back and levelled for 5-5.
In the 11th game of the second set, Thiem saved five break points to move in front before Medvedev forced a breaker.
A set point came and went for Medvedev at 6-5 up but Thiem saved it and went on to move into a 2-0 lead after a fascinating, physical tiebreak.
It clearly took its toll on Thiem. He required a medical timeout ahead of the third set.
Medvedev narrowly held on to his first service game of the third set and just after the two-hour mark, he broke again.
Thiem was not moving as freely as he had been and was left ranting angrily in German about his shoes after taking a tumble, which helped Medvedev secure a vital hold to keep himself in control of the third.
Incredibly, he blew another set point, this time on serve, and was broken when trying to seal the third.
Thiem forced another breaker and raced into a 5-1 lead. Medvedev saved one match point but Thiem converted the second as he netted.
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