No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem admitted he felt a big relief after he converted his third match point in the US Open final against Alexander Zverev to claim his maiden Grand Slam title. Thiem, 27, was struggling with his game early on but then recovered from two sets down to beat the German 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (6) and finally lift his maiden Grand Slam glory.
“It was such a big relief. I mean, obviously it was huge pressure in the match, huge emotions. Physically it was super tough,” Thiem admitted. “Then also it was not easy four weeks in general. It was a lot coming through the mind, coming through the body.
“When I made that match point, when he missed that backhand, it was such a big relief. Like Indian Wells title, for example, or like Vienna title, titles that mean so much to me, just a little bit stronger as this is a major title.
It’s just the highest thing what you can achieve in tennis.”
Thiem admitted the nerves were the problem
Thiem was down by a break in the third set and he was also down 5-3 in the fifth set but he managed to overcome the nerves and difficulties to beat Zverev.
“Physically I was 100% fine in the beginning of the match. I had some troubles with the Achilles in the semis, but that worked out great, I didn’t feel any pain,” Thiem added. “The problem was my nerves. I was super, super tight.
I was tighter than in a long time. Didn’t even know how that feels anymore. Didn’t even know how to get rid of that. But somehow I did it in the third set. “As I said, the emotions, they were much, much tougher to handle today than my body because it was fine.”
Thiem also admitted staying positive and believing in himself wasn’t an easy thing after such a slow start. “It was tough to stay there and to still believe. But I did, yeah. It’s a slam finals. I said myself, I mean, I’m playing bad, I’m way too tight, legs are heavy, arms are heavy,” Thiem said.
“But I always had hope and the expectation that at one point I free up. Luckily it was not too late when I broke him back in the third set. The belief was always there. From that moment when I broke him back for I think it was 3-All in the third set, the belief got stronger and stronger.
“But the thing is that the belief in myself is not enough because Sascha, I’m sure he believed himself as well 100%. Two guys like that played a match against each other. That’s obviously how it finished, in a fifth-set tiebreak.”