Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
It comes down to Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev playing for the men’s singles title at the 2020 U.S. Open.
Friday night’s semifinals produced two high-intensity, drama-filled matches with two matches that looked like toss-ups until the very end.
In the first match of the evening, Zverev took advantage of a brutal collapse by Pablo Carreno Busta, who won the first two sets before falling apart in the final three sets. Moments after Zverev finished off his comeback, Thiem continued his brilliance with a victory over Medvedev in three sets that became much tougher than the stats will show.
Here’s a look at where things stand at Arthur Ashe Court following another thrilling day at the U.S. Open.
Men’s Singles Results
No. 5 Alexander Zverev def. No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta: 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
No. 2 Dominic Thiem def. No. 3 Daniil Medvedev: 6-2, 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-5)
Men’s Singles Final
No. 2 Dominic Thiem vs. No. 5 Alexander Zverev
Date: Sunday, September 13, 4 p.m. ET
Carreno Busta Collapses After Two-Set Lead
Friday’s semifinal loss is likely to haunt Pablo Carreno Busta for quite some time.
The 29-year-old Spaniard played two perfect sets to begin the match only to see his game fall apart as Alexander Zverev gained enough momentum to storm back for a five-set victory.
Zverev’s struggles in early sets have been a recurring theme throughout his U.S. Open run, making it all the more imperative for Carreno Busta to finish off the German as quickly as possible. That seemed increasingly likely with the dominance he displayed during the second set.
Carreno Busta went up 5-0 before winning the set 6-2 with an astounding three unforced errors to Zverev’s 22.
Yet those two games Zverev won in the second set seemed to help the 23-year-old settle into the match and start battling back. He opened up a 3-1 lead in the third set before winning 6-3 and notching 26 points to Carreno Busta’s 15.
With the momentum fully on his side, Zverev began to cruise to the finish line as Carreno Busta struggled to hang on.
Along the way, Zverev recorded 24 aces to Carreno Busta’s four and win 149 points overall.
The pressure is now on Zverev to prove he can get off to a strong start in the final or prepare to mount his fourth comeback victory of the tournament—one that would end with the No. 7-ranked men’s singles player in the world capturing his first Grand Slam title.
Thiem Battles For Straight-Sets Win
Dominic Thiem will enter the U.S. Open final having dropped just one set total throughout his tournament run.
Friday tested that streak as much as anything could.
It wasn’t just that Daniil Medvedev proved himself a worthy semifinal challenger; it’s that at any point the match could’ve completely swung his way.
After Thiem opened up with a 6-2 victory in the first set, Medvedev settled in nicely and forced a tiebreaker in the second set and then another in the third.
“It was great tennis from both of us,” Thiem said on the court after the win. “He served for the set in both sets two and three and I played my best tennis. Tiebreaks are a tough thing. I don’t like them at all.”
All of it pushed Thiem to continue battling—through an injured heel no less—as he won 127 points to Medvedev’s 112 despite 12 aces by the Russian.
Now, he’ll face his friend Alexander Zverev in the U.S. Open final. It’s the fourth Grand Slam final for Thiem, 27, and the second this year after he fell to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in February.