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'Would've looked back on my career crying if I had never made it' - Dominic Thiem on his relief at winning USO

Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev at the US Open
Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev at the US Open
Modified 16 Sep 2020, 21:34 IST

After winning the US Open in New York, World No. 3 Dominic Thiem decided to skip the claycourt warm-up events leading up to the French Open in Paris. Instead, the Austrian decided to head home to Austria.

According to the SPOX website, Dominic Thiem met with the media back home where he spoke about the pressure of being the favorite in the final and also his opponent and good friend Alexander Zverev.

Being the favorite in the US Open final brought additional pressure: Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem came from two sets to love down to defeat German Alexander Zverev 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) in the US Open final, to win the first Grand Slam title of his career.

The Austrian had lost in three Grand Slam finals before his victory at Flushing Meadows. The latest of those was at this year's Australian Open, where he went down to Novak Djokovic in a five-setter. Prior to that, Thiem had lost two French Open finals to Rafael Nadal.

During his media interaction in Austria, Dominic Thiem talked about the pressure of having the chance to finally win a Slam after so many heartbreaking finals losses. According to the World No. 3, he would have regretted it immensely if he hadn't gotten over the line against Zverev in New York.

"It certainly was at the back of my mind that I was the favorite for the first time in a Grand Slam final," Thiem said. "The thought that I would lose it was there almost all the time. With 0-2 sets and a break in the back, this thought was of course even stronger. But a Grand Slam final is one great opportunity, so it's actually easy to keep fighting for every point. I would have looked back on my career crying if I had never made it."
Dominic Thiem gives his speech after winning the US Open on Sunday
Dominic Thiem gives his speech after winning the US Open on Sunday

Thiem also thanked his fans for sitting through drama of a five-set final on television, saying that he knows how difficult it is to watch someone play from the outside and cheer them on.

"I can understand the passion when you sit in front of the TV. Something like that can be really cruel. I notice it when I watch Dennis (Novak) how difficult it is. To sit outside and cheer when you have zero influence on the result. I admire everyone who made it through the match," Thiem added.

Finally, Thiem also spoke about his on-court rival and good friend Alexander Zverev, revealing that the German sent him a congratulatory text message after the match.

"He's a good guy," Thiem said. "He sent me - I can tell you now - a voice message after the final at three or four in the morning and congratulated me again. A great gesture!"
Published 16 Sep 2020, 21:34 IST
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