Australian Open 2020: Dominic Thiem outplays Alexander Zverev to set up a final date with Novak Djokovic
- Looking back at the second men's semifinal at the Australian Open, between Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev.
The 26-year-old Austrian took three hours and 42 minutes to beat Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6, which earned him the right to enter the Australian Open final for the first time in his career.
Thiem held a 6-2 head-to-head record against Zverev coming into the semifinal at Melbourne Park, but took a while to settle in against his younger opponent.
It was Thiem who had appeared to be more athletic, energetic and composed in the quarterfinal against Nadal, but on this day, the 22-year-old German looked a lot more in control of the proceedings initially.
Zverev took the first set in 40 minutes, but as the contest wore on Thiem got much of the crowd behind him with some amazing forehand winners.
The Austrian took the second set with a difference of one break, following which both players took a breather. Zverev had an issue with one of the baseline lights going off but a smiling Thiem refused to let the break upset his momentum.
Thiem subsequently saved two set points and went on to power his way to win the third-set tiebreak, which was a huge turning point in the contest.
Thiem ended up the winner of a 21-shot rally towards the end of the latter half of the fourth set which prompted reactions from a chirpy Zverev. The German was unable to do enough to contain Thiem, who got better as the match progressed.
A string of extended baseline rallies and a few delectable drop shots from Thiem thrilled the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena, with the pumped-up German having lots to say.
Zverev took a wild swing under pressure to trail 2-4 in the fourth-set tie-break, after which Thiem unleashed a winner backed with over 160 km/h of power. That blow took the wind out of Zverev's sails completely.
The German, who was relying heavily on his powerful first serves which averaged just over 200 km/h, was unable to handle Thiem's forehand winners on the day.
After the match Thiem admitted that the battle against Nadal had taken its toll, but lauded his 22-year-old opponent for having put up a great fight.
The men's final is scheduled for Sunday, where Thiem will take on seven-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.
Published 31 Jan 2020, 18:41 IST