With the "Big Three" of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic out of the picture - Nadal didn't compete because of concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Federer is recovering from knee surgery, and Djokovic was defaulted out of his round of 16 match for striking a ball that hit a lineswoman in the throat - the path was cleared for a new champion to arise within the U.S. Open bubble.
We made great things happen on the court, as well off the court.
"It is awesome how far our journey brought us".
Tonight, for the first time since 2014, we will see a first-time men's major victor when either Dominic Thiem or Alexander Zverev are told they can lift the trophy.
"I expect it's going to be easier for me now in the biggest tournaments", Thiem said. I said to myself, "I'm playing bad, I'm way too tight, legs are heavy, arms are heavy". I wanted this title so much, and of course there was also in my head that if I lose this one, it's 0-4. "I don't know how I'm going to feel the next days".
The other, a serve and forehand he managed to muster in, got a cross-court backhand wide from Zverev, whereupon Thiem did the only thing the victor of such a slog could do.
He was proving to be the dominant force with a further break in the seventh game before serving out the opener in just 30 minutes.
Thiem received treatment for an Achilles problem during his semi-final victory over Daniil Medvedev but it was a cramp that nearly derailed him in the final set. The next two games went with serve before the second seed carved out his first break of serve of the match.
But Thiem would take his next chance, grabbing a 5-3 lead when Zverev double faulted and then sent a forehand into the net, before closing it out to force a fifth set.
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The UAE and Bahrain should also be allowed to express their justifications for establishing relations with Israel. But we have tremendous enthusiasm for coming into the deal, he said.
- Thiem is now 3-11 when losing the first two sets in his career.
The fifth set was just as back-and-forth as the other four; the mistakes rising with the tension and the history in the offing.
Thiem earned another match point with a fearless pass though, and Zverev then dragged a backhand wide.
The 23-year-old German went two sets and a break up in his first Grand Slam final before losing in five sets to Austria's Dominic Thiem.
But he needed to become the first player to win a Grand Slam title from two sets down since Gaston Gaudio at the 2004 French Open to end his wait.
It marks Kunieda's first US Open title since 2015 yet his second straight Slam, after his triumph at AO 2020.
Zverev served for the title - and was broken. Thiem had more experience as this marked his fourth major final, but Zverev came out hungrier.
The 23-year-old Zverev, bidding to become the first German male to win a Grand Slam since Boris Becker won in NY in 1996, showed great composure to resist the Thiem charge and served for the title at 5-3.
There's some special people missing from the crowd today.