Dominic Thiem first man since 1949 to win US Open after dropping first 2 sets


Dominic Thiem, of Austria, returns a shot to Alexander Zverev, of Germany, during the men’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — Dominic Thiem became the first man in 71 years to win the U.S. Open after dropping the first two sets of the final.

Thiem earned his first Grand Slam title Sunday with a 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) comeback victory against Alexander Zverev. The U.S. Open never had been decided by a fifth-set tiebreaker.

Pancho Gonzalez made the same sort of turnaround against Ted Schroeder in 1949 to win the event then known as the U.S. Championships.

Thiem is a 27-year-old from Austria who entered Sunday with an 0-3 career record in major title matches.

This was Zverev’s debut in a Grand Slam final.

The match capped a two-tournament “controlled environment” for tennis in New York amid the coronavirus pandemic, with regular testing for COVID-19 and zero fans allowed.

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