This year’s US Open has been played in largely empty facilities, with massive tarps covering over most of the seats and a distinctly different sound to the space where players compete. It’s ironic, then, that one of the most exciting US Opens in recent memory has taken place with almost no one there to witness it in person. On Saturday, Naomi Osaka won the women’s final in an exciting come-from-behind win. Not to be outdone, Dominic Thiem won the men’s final on Sunday after being down by 2 sets.
Thiem’s win came in a tiebreaker in the fifth set against Alexander Zverev. The overall score of the match reflects its shifting momentum: 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6).
As Matthew Futterman writes for The New York Times, Thiem’s victory — his first Grand Slam title — is significant for a number of reasons. Thiem “became the first currently active player in his 20s to win a Grand Slam event,” Futterman notes. “He is the first new Grand Slam champion in six years.”
Thiem’s victory was also historical: he was the first man to come back from being 2 sets down in a final to win the US Open. The match came to an end in an emotional manner: Thiem collapsed on the court after winning, and the two men embraced shortly thereafter.
It may not have been the final people were expecting when the tournament began, but it offered a glimpse of the sport’s potential — and a thrilling match for the ages.
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