It took four finals but finally, Dominic Thiem is a Grand Slam champion, achieving the feat in dramatic fashion after he fought back from two sets down to stun Alexander Zverev in the final of the US Open.
The 27-year-old Austrian had lost two French Open finals and another at the Australian Open earlier in the year and looked destined for another defeat as an imperious Zverev put up a show of impeccable hitting to race to a two sets to love lead.
But second seed Thiem managed to play his way back as Zverev’s once reliable serve deserted him at key moments in the match.
Both players failed to serve out victory in a tense decider before Thiem sealed a 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) win.
Thiem took his third championship point when Zverev pulled a backhand wide, leaving the Austrian falling flat on his back in celebration.
Thiem became the first player to claim a Grand Slam title from two sets down since Argentine Gaston Gaudio at the French Open in 2004.
He is also the first person to achieve the feat at the US Open in 71 years after American Pancho Gonzales’ comeback in 1949.
Thiem, who remains third in the world rankings, is the first man to win a maiden Grand Slam singles title since Croat Marin Cilic’s 2014 US Open victory.
He is also the first Grand Slam champion from Austria since Thomas Munster won the French Open in 1995.
With 2019 champion Rafael Nadal and Swiss great Roger Federer absent at the behind-closed-doors Grand Slam, plus the expulsion of top seed Novak Djokovic for hitting a line judge, Thiem took his opportunity to become the first man outside the ‘Big Three’ to win the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon or US Open since Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka triumphed at Flushing Meadows in 2016.