Australian Open: Dominic Thiem's power tames Alexander Zverev
MELBOURNE Dominic Thiem He released two of his biggest right shots of the night, in the fourth tiebreaker set, the ball ran through the air at speeds of 164 and 162 kmph. While silencing German fans in history Rod Laver Arena , stirred the crowd's ability to enthusiastic applause.
He raised his fist and turned to his box, not in celebration, but in affirmation. It's what the 26-year-old Austrian rode to achieve a four-set victory over Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of the Australian Open. Power is the glory of Thiem.
The fifth seed became the first Austrian player, male or female, to make the title round at Melbourne Park. Thiem, who beat 43 winners, recovered for a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) victory in 3 hours and 42 minutes to reach his third final important, and the first on hard courts, where he will face the defending champion Novak Djokovic on Sunday.
Zverev, who had promised to give his full cash prize for forest fire relief if he won the tournament, had the most support from the crowd. Thiem, who had not fully recovered from his match against world No.1 Rafael Nadal , started tentatively.
It was so difficult, so close. He had such a high percentage in his first service that it was almost impossible to break, said the fifth seed after Friday's show. Amazing to be in an Australian Open final. It was not easy to play for 4 hours and 10 minutes on Wednesday against the most intense player of the Tour. That night I went to bed at 5 am, it was not easy to recover from that. Both of us were nervous when leaving. It was a difficult start for me.
Thiem, who is on a roll in the playoffs, said: The playoffs are always 50-50. Today and then against Rafa, I got up early, I went 2-0, 3-0. We both won the game today. I was lucky, something else. Now I play with Novak, who is the king of Australia. He has won seven titles here. It seems that I always face kings in Grand Slam finals.
Thiem's game is fascinating, causing a solidity that is more chilling than comforting. He doesn't hit the ball, he pulls the trigger like Nadal will do in second place. The shot is intended to cross the defenses, tear down the wall. If you try to participate, attract the opponent wide, open the court before extracting a winner. The Austrian gives so much of himself to almost every ball he hits that inevitably raises the question of staying in power. He responded again Friday night, finishing the semifinal in a flourishing.
Zverev recorded 90 percent in the first services in the first set and finished with 81 percent in the game. Thiem, however, sent only 67 percent of his first services. However, Zverev won only 68 percent of those points in his first service.
Thiem and Zverev, dressed as a pair of identical twins, however, sang different songs in the middle.
After exchanging his opening service games, Thiem seemed to be the one in control until he slipped in the seventh game, broken at 15 when a setback deflected. The German, who was serving big, even if he came back a little low, driving the bottom line with the footwork of a shorter man, held in love, and then broke the set in the ninth game when Thiem played A setback on the net.
In the tenth game of the second set, Zverev crashed a Thiem over his head that kicked high. He was positioned at baseline and the ball went to an extended Thiem. Zverev called the crowd, touching his ear, pointing out that he couldn't hear them. Thiem, however, stuck to the task, riding on an early break to get established scores. At the beginning of the third set, the lights on the far baseline went out and the game stopped for 10 minutes.
The sound system came alive with 'Sweet Caroline' who saw the Austrian sketch a big smile. When the game resumed, he maintained the service comfortably. Thiem said later that Neil Diamond's number helped him calm down. They always play that song in Austria during ski vacations, he said, smiling.
Once the set reached the tie-break, a stretch that endorsed here, Thiem was on top. He closed the third set with a right punch and then with a setback to take a lead of two sets to one.