A relentless Dominic Thiem rallied from a set down to beat Alexander Zverev in the semifinal of men’s singles event of the ongoing Australian Open at the Rod Laver Arena. He won 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (7) to book a showdown clash with Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday.
Thiem, who has become the first-ever Austrian to reach the final in Melbourne, won 77% of the points on the first serve en route to his total service points of 93. The 2019 French Open finalist committed four double faults and converted four of the nine breakpoints.
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22-year-old Zverev began the match on a positive note and won four consecutive games to pocket the first set. He further extended the streak to another game to take home the first of the second set. But Thiem broke him in the third game which could be argued as the turning point of the match.
The world number five made further inroads and levelled the score at 3-3 before eventually serving for the set at 5-4. The next two sets were played on equal footing but Thiem’s resilience proved to be a major difference.
“It was an unreal match, two tie-breaks, so tough and so close. It was almost impossible to break him, with [him getting in] such a high percentage of first serves. An Australian Open is unreal, and what a start to the season so far,” Thiem said in his post-match on-court interview.
In the deciding match of the year’s first major, he will face seven-time Australian Open champion Djokovic, who had defeated Roger Federer in straight sets on Thursday.
After a slight glitch in the opening moments which saw Federer take a lead of 5-2 in the first set, Djokovic played his best Tennis to outclass the Swiss maestro 7-6(1), 6-4, 6-3.