Austrian sensation Dominic Thiem reaches maiden Australian Open final to set up clash with Novak Djokovic
Austrian tennis ace Dominic Thiem has defeated Alexander Zverev in the semi-final of the Australian Open 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6 to reach a maiden final in Melbourne, where he will face Serbian defending champion Novak Djokovic.
Thiem, who was visibly very nervous entering his maiden Australian Open semifinal, got off to a sloppy start making numerous unforced errors which helped Zverev to win the match-opener 6-3.
Trailing 3-5 in the first set, the Austrian star attempted to save the game but instead of cutting the deficit he produced error-riddled tennis on his own serve, allowing his German rival to take the lead in the match.
Thiem regained his composure in the next set, redeeming himself for the unimpressive start and immediately breaking Zverev to take a 3-1 lead. The German fought back with aggressive hits, winning the next two games before being broken again by Thiem, who restored his two-game lead to take the second set 6-4.
After Zverev opened the third set the game was suspended with the German player complaining about the lights on the Rod Laver Arena.
The unplanned pause lasted for several minutes but didn’t affect Thiem’s confidence as he not only won the game on his serve, but also broke the tenacious German to lead the set 3-1.
The 22-year-old German responded with powerful and precise shots which helped him the reverse the course of the game, returning the break to Thiem.
Zverev could have celebrated an early 6-4 win having a set point on Thiem’s serve, but missed the chance, sending the set into a tie-break where Thiem got the upper hand 7-6.
The fourth set saw an uncompromising battle between the evenly-matched pair with neither showing signs of relenting.
The winner of the set and of the match was decided in a tie-break where Thiem was more precise and calm, winning 7-4.
In the final the fifth seed Austrian will meet defending Australian Open champion Djokovic, who is eying a record-extending eighth title in Melbourne.