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US Open 2020: Dominic Thiem Reaches Second Consecutive Grand Slam Final, to Face Zverev and More

Dominic Thiem won his spot in the final of the US Open with a poised 6-2, 7-6 (7) 7-6 (5) victory over Daniil Medvedev in a match that lasted almost three hours. Thiem will now face Alexander Zverev who is making his maiden appearance on the big stage.
Dominic Thiem at US Open

Dominic Thiem returns to Daniil Medvedev in the semifinal of the US Open on September 11.

Dominic Thiem made it to his second Grand Slam final in a row, beating last year’s finalist Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5) in straight sets. 

Thiem dominated the 2 hours and 56 minute encounter from the word go, never allowing Medvedev a footing into the match. The Russian was also hindered by his own mental outbursts, something he had kept in check through the tournament. 

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The turning point — or perhaps the catalyst for the collapse — came in the first set, when Medvedev, trailing 3-2 and facing a breakpoint, served long, only for the line judge to miss the call. Thiem to his credit returned serve but Medvedev feebly hit his shot into the net, expecting to get the call. When it didn’t come, he saw red, first because he was denied a review — it was too late — and second because the tournament referee, sitting courtside refused to get involved in the matter. 

It was a surreal and farcical situation that could’ve been avoided right from the start. In the commentary booth, John McEnroe expressed his bafflement at Medvedev not being allowed to challenge the call. “That was a bad call and they made it worse by not letting him challenge,” McEnroe said. “He clearly wasn’t playing the ball. He was standing there because he knew his serve was out.”

Medvedev made matters worse for himself, walking over to the other side to point where the ball landed — significantly long — and was served a code violation. From there he never recovered and soon saw his US Open dreams go up in smoke. For Thiem the promised trophy awaits, as he enters the final a firm favourite to win the first Grand Slam of his career.

Zverev in Final

Prior to the Thiem-Medvedev match — and in sharp contrast to its high quality — Alexander Zverev reached his first Grand Slam final defeating Pablo Carreno Busta over five sets, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 .

The match was littered with over 100 unforced errors — 57 of them from Zeverev’s racquet — and saw 23 breaks of serve, proof that neither player was actually at their best in arguably the biggest match of their careers. The victory was the first time in Zverev's career when he won a match after being two sets behind.

https://youtu.be/kFUBhnAMlZA

"I actually looked at the scoreboard when I was down two sets to love," Zverev said. "I was like, 'I can't believe it. I'm playing in a semi-final, I'm supposed to be the favourite and I have no chance, I'm playing that bad." Zverev made 36 unforced errors in the first two sets — winning 16% on his vulnerable second serve in the second before clawing back to take the match.

"I started taking the ball more on the rise. I started giving myself the chance to be the one that is aggressive," the German, said, adding, "I'm through to my first Grand Slam final and that's all that matters." Safe to say, he will need to elevate his game considerably to have any chance against Thiem in the final.

She's ready: Azarenka's Coach 

Victoria Azarenka is in great form and on the right path to win her first Grand Slam final in seven years, coach Dorian Descloix said, a day before the finals match against Naomi Osaka.

Descloix also said Azarenka was prepared for a physical battle ahead of the showdown against Naomi Osaka. "Physically she's ready, to be honest. She worked a lot the last few months," he said. "She worked every day on fitness. Even on the court, we did a lot of long sessions on the court. Now she's ready."

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The 31-year-old beat Serena Williams for the first time at a Grand Slam, clawing back from a set down to emphatically step into the final. 

The two-time Australian Open winner, also displayed brilliant play at the Western & Southern Open, prior to the US Open, getting through to the final, where she was due to face Osaka before the latter’s withdrawal.  To win against the world number four Osaka, Descloix said she must "play her game."

Zvonareva, Siegemund Win 

Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva won the US Open women's doubles on Friday beating third seeds Xu Yifan of China and Nicole Melichar of the United States in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 in the final at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Zvonareva and Siegemund raced to 5-1 lead in the first set, before nerves found their way into their game. Having closed it out 6-4, in similar fashion they took an early lead in the second before holding out to win the title. The duo, who teamed for the first time in their careers, will now partner each other again at the French Open. 

The 36-year old Zvonareva won the US Open doubles title in 2006 alongside Nathalie Dechy and also the Australian Open in 2012 with Svetlana Kuznetsova making this her third major doubles title. Siegemund, 32, won the US Open mixed doubles title alongside Mate Pavic in 2016 however, had never won the women’s doubles title until now. 

"It wasn't easy," Zvonareva, another of several mothers on tour,z said. "I had a lot of injuries in the past and always trying to come back, and it's a big privilege for me to be here today."

Boris Becker Faces Backlash

Boris Becker has been slammed by fans and critics online, after making suggestive remarks about a female umpire while commentating ton he semi-final between Alexander Zverev and Paulo Carreno Busta. 

On air for EuroSport Germany, the 52-year-old reportedly passed the comments when the camera focused on chair umpire Marijana Veljovic.

“I have to say, the umpire is extremely pretty,” the 52-year-old said on air. “You eat with your eyes.” Becker’s comments were later translated and posted on twitter by tennis journalist Petra Philippsen leading to backlash from fans. “You cannot be serious!! Please tell him it is 2020,” one fan said. “Keep your thoughts to yourself, Boris,” said another.

This, however, isn't the first time Veljovic's looks have been the focus of attention at a tennis match. At the Australian Open in January, tennis star Eugenie Bouchard commented on the appearance of the same umpire tweeting that  “The umpire in this Roger/Tennys [Roger Federer vs Tennys Sandgren] match is super pretty.” In the match between the duo, Veljovic slapped Federer with a code violation for swearing at a line judge. 

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