Dominic Thiem secured his place in a Grand Slam championship final for the third time in his career by fighting back to defeat Alexander Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(4) at the Australian Open on Friday.
Thiem battled back from losing the first set, and saved two set points in the third set of a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(4) victory over first-time major semi-finalist, Alexander Zverev in three hours and 42 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
“It was an unreal match, two tie-breaks, so tough and so close,” Thiem told former World No. 1 John McEnroe in an on-court interview.
“It was almost impossible to break him, with [him getting in] such a high percentage of first serves. An Australian Open final is unreal, and what a start to the season so far.”
Thiem is the first Austrian to reach the Australian Open final, where he will look to beat second seed and seven-time champion Novak Djokovic. The 26-year-old has previously finished as runner-up to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros in 2018 and 2019.
“I have been twice in the Roland Garros final, twice facing Rafa, and now I am facing Djokovic, he is the ‘King of Australia’, winning seven titles here,” said Thiem. “I will try my best and do everything I can to win. But if I walk off the court in two days’ time a loser, I will be patient and trust the process and continue to work hard.”
Thiem won 23 of his 27 points at the net, and hit 43 winners, including 10 aces. Zverev, who hit 103 of his 127 first serves into court, converted five of his 14 break point chances and committed 33 unforced errors.