Dominic Thiem: career highlights of the world number three Austrian tennis player who won US Open 2020 against Alexander Zverev

Dominic Thiem clinched his maiden major with a comeback victory over Alexander Zverev
Dominic Thiem earned his first major victory with a five-set win over Alexander Zverev (Getty Images)Dominic Thiem earned his first major victory with a five-set win over Alexander Zverev (Getty Images)
Dominic Thiem earned his first major victory with a five-set win over Alexander Zverev (Getty Images)

Dominic Thiem overcame a two-set deficit to defeat his German counterpart Alexander Zverev in a thrilling US Open final on Sunday (13 September).

Both men served for the match in an exhausting fifth set requiring the first ever deciding tie-break in a US Open men’s final to divide them.

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The world number three battled with mental and physical issues throughout, including getting cramp in the competition’s early stages.

It was the Austrian’s fourth grand slam final after two losses to Rafael Nadal at the French Open and one to Novak Djokovic in Australia. Djokovic had been disqualified from the 2020 event after he hit a line judge with a tennis ball.

Thiem admitted: “I was so tight in the beginning.

“Maybe it was not even good that I played in previous major finals. 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.

“It’s always in your head: Is this chance ever coming back again? This, that, all these thoughts, which are not great to play your best tennis, to play free.”

Where did he train and when did he turn pro?

Like so many of his contemporaries Dominic Thiem has struggled to get a sniff at a world title during an era dominated by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

But with Alexander Zverev in front of him, the Austrian was able to earn the first major crown, nine years on from turning pro.

Trained by his father Wolfgang and Austrian coach Günter Bresnik, Thiem emerged as one of the rising stars of world tennis, reaching a junior ranking of World Number 2 by the conclusion of his amateur career.

In 2011 he turned pro at the age of 18, earning a trip to his first ATP final three years later, losing in three sets to David Goffin at the Austrian Open.

Major finals with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

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It was at Rolland Garros that the Austrian would reach his first major final, seeing off Alexander Zverev, Stafanos Tsistipas and Kei Nishikori on his way to the final.

He met Rafael Nadal who clinched his 11th French Open with ease in a commanding, straight-sets victory over Thiem.

He would go one step closer a year later, claiming a set off the king of the clay but again falling short of clinching the French Open title. Later that year he would finish runner up at the ATP Finals.

In 2020 he continued his steady climb to the top of the men’s game, reaching a third Grand Slam final this time at the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic was his formidable adversary this time, defeating the Austrian in five hard-fought sets.

Prior to his victory over Zverev on Sunday night Thiem would reach number three in the world before the season came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What’s next for Dominic Thiem?

Speaking following his victory Thiem has suggested that it should be easier for him to get his hands on more major silverware.

"It's going to be or I expect that it's going to be easier for me now in the biggest tournaments," Thiem told reporters.

"Because, of course, I had it in the back of my head that I had a great career so far, way better career than I could ever dreamt of, but until today there was still a big part, a big goal missing.

"With this goal achieved, I think and I hope that I'm going to be a little bit more relaxed and play a little bit more freely at the biggest events.”