U.S. Men’s Open 2020: Zverev vs. Thiem



Ritika Kumar, Online Arts Editor

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The biggest tennis comeback in the past 71 years took place right before our eyes on Thursday, September 12, 2020, when Dominic Thiem took the trophy home in a fiveset US Open Final. 

And I know what everyone must be thinking: Where was Djokovic or Federer or Nadal? The most interesting aspect of this match is that we all went into it knowing that the person who won the trophy was going to take it home for the first time in their lives. 

The match was between two talented players: Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem. And let me say, the audience members were at the edge of their seats in anticipation the whole time. The entire match was neck-to-neck, ending with an insane tie-breaker, and there was no way to predict what was going to happen next. By the end of the match, the players could barely stand, and the emotion displayed on the screen was extremely moving. Not only is it powerful to see two men playing their hearts out on the court, but it is also motivating to see two men demonstrate the level of respect for each other it was clear Zverev and Thiem had for one another. 

Zverev is a young and talented athlete. Zverev is ranked seventh in the world by the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals). He has won two ATP doubles titles and 11 ATP singles titles. Zverev played an impressive game, and his lengthy height allowed him to reach the ball and have enough time to plan out his next moves. 

Dominic Thiem is not new to grand slam finals. So far, Thiem has made it to three finals, along with his recent US open win. As of now, his ATP ranking is number three in the world. With his incredible ball placement, his fight was strong and motivated. Even though he was down two sets in the beginning of the match, he made a major comeback, demonstrating his immense his grit. 

The passion that these two players felt for the sport was evident in each stroke. “I watched Alexander Zverev play when he was a junior, and he is actually one of my favorite players, so seeing him get to the finals was really special. One quote that really stuck with me was when Dominic Thiem said in his trophy speech, ‘I wish we could have two winners today… I think we both deserved it,’” said senior Aaron Chu. 

There is no debate that this year’s US Open is extremely memorable. Towards the end of the match, Thiem’s knees started buckling, both players were cramping and drenched in sweat, and it took a lot of effort to get off of the bench and play again. Still, the two players persevered through all the pain, motivated by their ambitions and goals. 

After the tournament, though, the players’ respect for one another became even clearer. They talked about each other more in their speeches than they talked about themselves. For instance, Thiem stated about Zverev, “You’re going to make it 100%. You’re going to make your parents proud, your family proud.” The raw emotion and encouragement that was shown both on and off the court of this US Open were both truly inspiring. 

Not only was the match extremely entertaining, but it also gave us some hope for a somewhat “normal” life during the coronavirus. Eighth grader Emmy Demorre explained, “I feel that each player played better without a crowd. The level of intensity, fight, and focus that everybody had was incredible.” When the coronavirus first struck, it was hard to see if we would ever be able to get back to how things were before. During quarantine, we weren’t sure if this tournament would be possible this year. However, watching this tournament and this game made me realize that we can come back from quarantine with even more power than we had before, while still staying safe.