In a battle for their maiden finals at the Melbourne Park, No.5 seed Dominic Thiem recovered from a slow start to defeat Alexander Zverev with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(4) victory in the semifinals of the Australian Open 2020.
Thiem shot 42 winners and ten aces across the three-hour and 42-minute encounter, breaking his opponent four times en route to the title match. Moreover, the 26-year-old often used the tactic of rushing the net, and it paid off 85% the 27 times he charged into the forecourt.
The two players started off with a rusty service game as they traded breaks in their opening serves. The play was also interrupted in the third game due to the drizzling on the court and the match resumed after a short delay with the roof closed.
After the sixth game, Alexander Zverev changed gears to win three consecutive games to close the opening set 6-3 in 40 minutes. The German looked splendid on his serve making only two faults in his four service games. He was also successful in unsettling Thiem with the depth on his groundstrokes, reducing the time available for the Austrian.
Alexander Zverev, who barely made any mistake on the service throughout the first set committed two back-to-back double faults in the third game. The 26-year-old took full advantage of this and broke Zverev before rushing to a commanding 3-1 lead.
The 22-year-old Zverev earned the break back with his incredible return game at 3-3. However, Thiem found his range in the next game as he broke Zverev to get the lead again. The World No.5 then served out the set 6-4 in 41 minutes after saving two breakpoints.
Dominic Thiem tried to drag himself to his best form as he looked much more focused in the second set, controlling his groundstrokes and making fewer errors than the first set.
Thiem’s momentum continued in the following set as some aggressive groundstrokes garnered him three breakpoints in the third game. He claimed a crucial break with a thundering backhand passing winner. The German brought the match back in his terms as he clinched three consecutive games and got back on serve at 3-4.
Sascha changed gears while Thiem was serving to stay in the set as he earned two set points at 4-5. With his back against the wall, Thiem stormed back to deny the two set points to his opponent and held his serve. The set was forced to a tie-break as the games went with serve till 6-6.
Dominic Thiem came out ahead in the tiebreaker to win the third set 7-6(3) and tipped the scale in his favour.
The games went with the serve till 6-6 as the set went through a tiebreaker. The set saw no breakpoints with both the players serving strongly. Thiem commanded the tiebreaker as he closed the marathon match after 3 hours and 42 minutes, winning the fourth set 7-6(3)