Alexander Zverev lamented missed chances after coming "super close" to being a grand slam champion in a loss to Dominic Thiem.

Zverev fell short in a dramatic US Open final on Sunday, losing 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to Thiem on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Playing his first major final, Zverev was also up a break in the third set and led 5-3 in the fifth before losing.

Zverev was disappointed to let the opportunities slip away in the decider.

"I was super close to being a grand slam champion. I was a few games away, maybe a few points away," he told a news conference.

"For me what upset me the most is not the third set or something like that, it's the fifth set. I had a lot of chances in the fifth set and didn't use them.

"I'm 23 years old. I don't think it's my last chance. I do believe that I will be a grand slam champion at some point."

Zverev served 15 double faults in his defeat, having made the better start before Thiem responded.

He said it was difficult to accept his loss after being in such a promising position.  

"Obviously being two sets to love and a break up in a grand slam final then losing is not easy," Zverev said.

"Yeah, I mean, the match turned when he broke me I think for the first time in the third set.

"I think he started playing much better and I started playing much worse. That's when the match turned. But I still had plenty of chances after that." 

Dominic Thiem described his US Open success as a dream come true after rallying from two sets down to claim his first grand slam crown in New York.

After three runners-up appearances in major finals, second seed Thiem finally broke through by outlasting Alexander Zverev 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.

The Austrian, who overcame a slow start, became the first player to rally from two sets down to win a US Open final in the Open Era, and first since 1949.

Thiem is also the first man born in the 1990s to win a grand slam after prevailing in more than four hours in a rollercoaster final on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"Definitely I achieved a life goal, a dream of myself, which I had for many, many years," Thiem told reporters after his memorable comeback against the fifth-seeded German. "Of course, as a kid, as well, when I started to play tennis. But back then it's so far away.

"Then I got closer and closer to the top. At one point I realised that, wow, maybe one day I can really win one of the four biggest titles in tennis.

"I put a lot of work in. I mean, I dedicated basically my whole life until this point to win one of the four majors. Now I did it. That's also for myself a great accomplishment.

"I mean, it's by far not only myself, it's an accomplishment from all my team, from all my family. I guess also today is the day where I gave back huge amount of what they did for me."

Thiem lost a thrilling Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic earlier this year, having fallen short in the 2018 and 2019 French Open deciders to Rafael Nadal.

"When I first realised that maybe one day I could really win a major was when I first broke into the semis of Roland Garros, when I broke into top 10," said the 27-year-old Thiem, who never gave up hope against Zverev. "From that moment on I dreamed about it. I thought that it's maybe realistic.

"Back then I thought my biggest chances by far are on clay. But then the end of last year somehow changed a lot of things when I won Beijing, when I won Vienna, when I played the great Nitto ATP Finals. Then I realised that my game is suiting the hard courts really well.

"Of course, since I'm working with Nico [Massu], we improved my game on hard court a lot. Also changed my mind that many shots are working great on that surface. So I think my best major until now US Open, I played in Australia. Now it's not for me that big surprise anymore that it's not the French. At the end it doesn't matter to me. Main thing is that I have one of these four now."

As Thiem basks in his first major triumph, attention quickly turns to the upcoming French Open in Paris.

The rescheduled French Open is due to get underway on September 27 at Roland Garros amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about the transition from hard to clay courts, two-time French Open runner-up Thiem said: "I think physically I'm going to be fine, 100 per cent. I'm going to have enough time to recover from all the troubles I had.

"But the question is how I'm going to do it with the emotions mentally. Obviously, I've never been in this situation. I achieved a big, big goal. Well, I don't know how I'm going to feel the next days.

"At the same time it's going to be or I expect that it's going to be easier for me now in the biggest tournaments because I had it in the back of my head that I had a great career so far, way better career than I could ever dreamt of, but until today there was still a big part, a big goal missing.

"With this goal achieved, I think and I hope that I'm going to be a little bit more relaxed and play a little bit more freely at the biggest events."

Dominic Thiem made history as he came from behind to edge Alexander Zverev to win his first grand slam title at the US Open on Sunday.

In a rollercoaster decider on a quiet Arthur Ashe Stadium, Thiem – playing his fourth major final – eventually closed out a 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) victory.

The Austrian became the first player to rally from two sets down to win a US Open final in the Open Era, and first since 1949.

Thiem is also the first man born in the 1990s to win a grand slam, needing more than four hours in the first US Open final to be decided by a fifth-set tie-break.

There were six breaks of serve in the final set, with Zverev – playing his first major final – giving up a 5-3 lead before Thiem also failed to serve it out at 6-5.

But as both players looked tired and with Thiem, 27, seemingly cramping, he managed to hold his nerve the better of the two to win a first major.

Zverev, who came from two sets down to beat Pablo Carreno Busta in the last four, was this time on the front foot from the outset and needed only 30 minutes to take the opener.

The German, 23, broke his apparently anxious opponent twice in the first set and raced into a 5-1 lead in the second.

Thiem raced forward to volley at the net and earn one break back, but Zverev served out the set and quickly went about making progress in the third.

Yet another poor service game concluded with a wayward stroke under little pressure, seemingly bringing the finish line into view after just 90 minutes of play.

But Thiem finally showed some resilience and, despite seeing one opportunity pass with an agonising miss at the back of the court, he tied the set again, then staying patient before another gain took the match to a fourth as the wobbling Zverev went wide.

Thiem's level improved as both held comfortably to begin the fourth set, although the Austrian was passive as he squandered two break points in the sixth game.

But Thiem would take his next chance, grabbing a 5-3 lead when Zverev double faulted and then sent a forehand into the net, before closing it out to force a fifth set.

The pair traded breaks to begin the decider as both showed nerves before Thiem recovered from 0-30 in the sixth game and fell behind again in the eighth, Zverev breaking for a 5-3 lead, only to give that advantage straight back with a poor game when serving for the title.

Serving at 30-30 in the 10th game, Thiem produced two spectacular forehands, the first a rocket down the line before a passing shot.

Thiem, looking the more tired and perhaps cramping, broke for 6-5 when Zverev sent a forehand well long, but he too failed to serve it out after a brief visit from the trainer.

Zverev's 15th double fault gave Thiem a 5-3 lead in the tie-break before the latter squandered two match points, including one from a weak second serve from the German.

But Thiem would finally close out victory, falling onto his back behind the baseline as Zverev pulled a backhand wide to complete a dramatic finish.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Thiem [2] bt Zverev [5] 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Thiem – 43/55
Zverev – 52/64

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Thiem – 8/8
Zverev – 15/15

BREAK POINTS WON

Thiem – 7/13 
Zverev – 8/18

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Thiem – 62
Zverev – 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Thiem – 68/48
Zverev – 70/41

TOTAL POINTS

Thiem – 162
Zverev – 159

Dominic Thiem joked that he will have to call former world number one Andy Murray if he loses a fourth grand slam final after reaching the US Open decider.

Thiem defeated last year's US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev 6-2 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-5) in Friday's semi-final as the second seed eyes an elusive major title.

The Austrian star has lost all three slam finals he has featured in – the 2020 Australian Open decider against Novak Djokovic and the 2019 and 2019 French Open showpieces to Rafael Nadal.

Murray was beaten in four major finals before breaking through for his maiden slam via the 2012 US Open and Thiem joked on court post-match: "If I win, I have my first [grand slam title]. If not, I have to slowly call Andy Murray to find out how it is with 0-4."

Pressed on those comments and whether he had ever spoken to three-time slam champion Murray about overcoming slam final defeats, Thiem told reporters: "I never talked to anyone. It was all good so far. But I was joking about it.

"It's easy for Andy because he has won three in the meantime. But that's not what I'm thinking about Sunday. I just going to go in fully focused, like in all the six previous matches. The world continues no matter what's result is, so it's going to be fine.

"Of course, I'm super happy that I gave myself another chance to be in the finals, pretty quick after Australia. Going to be a great one against a very good friend and a great rival."

Thiem – the first Austrian male to make the singles at the US Open – capitalised against a wasteful Medvedev, who failed to serve out the second and third sets on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

First-time slam finalist and fifth seed Alexander Zverev awaits Thiem at Flushing Meadows in New York – a rematch of the pair's entertaining Australian Open semi-final showdown earlier this year.

It provides a different challenge for Thiem, who has come up against all-time greats Djokovic and Nadal in his previous final appearances.

But Thiem insisted he "won't change his mindset at all", adding: "I know what Sascha is capable of. Also the last match we had in Australia, we were both really, really good. It was such a close match.

"I will go in like in the previous six matches. As I said, from the moment Novak was out of the tournament [default in the fourth round], it was clear that there's going to be a new grand slam champion. From that moment on, that was also out of my mind. I was just focusing on the remaining guys left in the draw.

"Now it's Sascha remaining, the last one, my opponent in the finals. I will fully focus on him and just go into that match like in the all other matches I was going in so far in this tournament.

"He's a hell of a player. One of the greatest ones in last years. Won all titles besides a major. He will also try everything what he's capable of doing to win the title. It's going to be a super difficult match. For me, it really doesn't matter whether it's him or one of the big three. I just try to go in there and give my best."

German star Alexander Zverev insisted he has unfinished business after reaching his first grand slam final in stunning fashion at the US Open.

Zverev rallied from two-sets-to-love down to outlast Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3 in Friday's semi-final at Flushing Meadows.

After erasing a two-set deficit for the first time in his career, fifth seed Zverev – the youngest major finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2010 – is now looking to become the first German slam champion since Boris Becker in 1996.

An Australian Open semi-finalist earlier this year, Zverev is also the first German man through to the US Open final since 1994 following three hours, 22 minutes on court in New York.

But Zverev is refusing to dwell on his major breakthrough as he awaits either Dominic Thiem or last year's runner-up Daniil Medvedev in the decider, telling reporters: "I still need to achieve. Sunday is going to be extremely difficult no matter who I play of those guys.

"But I'm looking forward to it. Yeah, I'm in the final of a grand slam. The two best players in the world are going to be playing on court."

Zverev added: "It's great. Obviously happy to be in a final. But as I said in the previous question, there's still one more step to go. For me, I think it's going to be extremely difficult. Both of those guys deserve to be in the final. That's it.

"If I play Dominic, we played an epic in Australia. If I play Daniil, we had some great matches as well. No matter who it's going to be, it's going to be a new grand slam champion, but it's going to be also a very difficult match I think."

Zverev was on the brink of an exit after a slow start against Carreno Busta, but he battled hard to get past the Spanish 20th seed on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 23-year-old Zverev became the first player to win a grand slam semi-final from two sets down since Djokovic in 2011

"I looked at the scoreboard after two sets," he said. "I thought to myself, Look, I'm playing a grand slam semi-final, I'm down 6-3, 6-2 in a match where on paper I'm supposed to be the favourite.

"I needed to play better, start something new. I thought, Okay, I'm going to go set by set, we'll see how far I can get. It turned out well in the end.

"Obviously it was very close. Pablo deserved to be in the final just as much as I did. Yeah, a few points here or there on either side of the match."

Alexander Zverev advanced to his first grand slam final after rallying from two sets down to trump Pablo Carreno Busta in a sensational fightback at the US Open.

Zverev was on the brink of defeat against Spanish 20th seed Carreno Busta in New York, but the German star produced a stunning rally to emerge victorious 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3 on Friday.

After earning his first win from two-sets-to-love down, Zverev – the youngest major finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2010 – is now looking to become the first German major champion since Boris Becker in 1996 as he awaits either Dominic Thiem or last year's runner-up Daniil Medvedev in the decider.

Fifth seed Zverev, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year, is also the first German man through to the US Open final at Flushing Meadows since 1994 following three hours, 22 minutes on court.

Carreno Busta – who benefited from world number one Djokovic's default in the fourth round – made a flying start and led 5-1 in the opening set before dropping his own serve for the first time.

Zverev was too far back in that set to make it close though, and he was desperately flat in the second set too, sliding two breaks behind without making Carreno Busta fight especially hard for that enviable position.

Carreno Busta – a two-time US Open semi-finalist – wobbled slightly, but he could afford to, and he soon held a two-set cushion.

But Zverev refused to surrender and he showed more verve and attacking intent to finally break his opponent's serve at a meaningful point in a set and lead 3-1 in the third, but that was immediately clawed back.

The inclination was to think that might have marked the end of the Zverev fightback, given he had shown such little dynamism through the first two sets, but he broke again and soon led 5-2 as he stayed alive in the match.

Zverev's serve and ball-striking was more assured than at any point in the match, with Carreno Busta for the first time given serious pause for thought, the momentum beginning to turn.

That was only accentuated when Carreno Busta dropped serve in game three of the fourth set, but a wretched service game from Zverev brought the fourth set back on level terms.

However, Zverev earned a pair of break-point chances in a tense seventh game and while Carreno Busta saved one, he was unable to save the other as the former's deep approach shot set up an emphatic overhead smash for the break and 4-3 lead.

Carreno Busta then saved three set points in a battling display, but there was no denying the rallying Zverev – who levelled the match at two-sets-apiece with an ace to force a decider.

After a medical timeout for back treatment, Carreno Busta emerged trying to halt Zverev's momentum, however, the latter was too hot to handle with a match-high 18 winners in the set to complete a memorable fightback as he became the first German grand slam finalist since 2003.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Zverev [5] bt Carreno Busta [20] 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Zverev – 71/57
Carreno Busta – 37/43

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Zverev – 24/8
Carreno Busta – 4/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Zverev – 7/21
Carreno Busta – 7/16

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Zverev – 62
Carreno Busta – 71 

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Zverev – 78/37
Carreno Busta – 65/42

TOTAL POINTS

Zverev – 148
Carreno Busta – 138

Alexander Zverev hit back at Martina Navratilova after criticism of his performance as he reached the US Open semi-finals.

The German fifth seed struggled to a 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 victory over Borna Coric on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday.

Navratilova, an 18-time grand slam singles champion, told Amazon Prime: "He will not be able to win against the top players playing the way he did today."

She said Zverev needed a display more similar to his final set and to "play better tennis overall".

Zverev was unhappy with the criticism, pointing to his record against Roger Federer (4-3 head-to-head) and Novak Djokovic, who he has beaten in two finals.

"Maybe she should look at my record against the big guys. Maybe she should look that I'm positive against Roger. Maybe she should look that I've beaten Novak on multiple occasions in big matches and finals," he told a news conference.

"And I'm in the semi-finals, and sometimes not playing your best and finding a way is more important than playing your best.

"But she's a grand slam champion, as well, multiple grand slam champion, she's respected, but her opinion right now does not matter to me."

With Djokovic out of the tournament, there will be a first-time major winner in the men's draw in New York.

Perhaps impacted by that, Zverev said he was below his best against Coric as he reached his second grand slam semi-final.

"I mean, look, obviously, yeah, I didn't play well. It's no secret about it. I was down 6-1, 4-2 after about 28 minutes. It's not a secret I didn't play my best," he said.

"But I found a way, found a way to win that second set, and I feel like that's the most important.

"I think the Novak news shocked us all, and obviously for us younger guys, we see that as a massive opportunity, but we have to put our head down and just do our job and focus on ourselves."

Zverev will face either Pablo Carreno Busta or Denis Shapovalov in the last four.

Alexander Zverev battled past Borna Coric in four sets to win an attritional quarter-final at the US Open.

Novak Djokovic's disqualification for hitting a ball at a linesperson has opened up the men's draw at Flushing Meadows and both players at times seemed to carry the weight of that pressure.

Fifth seed Zverev - who had 12 double faults - was particularly slow out of the blocks but as the match wore on was cooler in the big moments en route to triumphing 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 and booking a second career slam semi-final having reached the last four of the Australian Open in January.

Zverev, who trailed in the head-to-head 3-1 prior to Tuesday's contest including a US Open defeat to Coric in 2017, faces Pablo Carreno Busta – the beneficiary of Djokovic's indiscretion – or Denis Shapovalov for a spot in the final.

Zverev double faulted three times in a shoddy fourth game, which set the tone for an opening set that produced 12 unforced errors to gift Coric the advantage in just 24 minutes.

The German's composure slipped in game five of the second when a ball was wrongly called out against him and the point replayed, with Coric eventually going on to break after some mammoth rallies and a 20th unforced error of the match from Zverev.

Coric blinked back in game eight, though, and - having initially benefitted from another Zverev double fault - made a crucial unforced error to go 6-4 down in the tie-break and was unable to fight back.

In the third, Zverev had to fight for a crucial hold in game six, before neither man gave an inch in a set in which flashes of quality interspersed conservative tennis.

The breaker went entirely Zverev's way, though, and Coric squandered four break points in game six of the fourth before surrendering serve himself to go down 5-3 when his opponent thumped a forehand winner down the line.

In keeping with the theme of the contest, Zverev was nervy as he served out for the match but found a way to get the job done and became the first German male in a US Open semi-final in 25 years.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

Zverev [5] bt Coric [27] 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Zverev – 52/46
Coric – 37/41

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Zverev – 18/12
Coric – 5/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Zverev – 3/8
Coric – 4/15

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Zverev – 71
Coric – 72

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Zverev – 76/41
Coric – 70/57

TOTAL POINTS

Zverev – 136
Coric – 132

Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov reached the US Open quarter-finals as Novak Djokovic sensationally defaulted on Sunday.

Djokovic's bid for an 18th grand slam title came to an end after he was disqualified at Flushing Meadows.

The Serbian's stunning exit has opened up the men's draw, with a first-time grand slam winner set to be crowned in New York.

Zverev and Shapovalov remain in contention for their maiden major triumphs after impressive wins.

 

ZVEREV, SHAPOVALOV INTO LAST EIGHT

Zverev, the German fifth seed, needed just one hour, 34 minutes to crush Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-2 6-1.

The 23-year-old Zverev progressed to his fourth grand slam quarter-final and first at the US Open after the comfortable win.

He hit 39 winners and 22 unforced errors in a straightforward victory.

Shapovalov, 21, also progressed thanks to a hard-fought 6-7 (0-7) 6-3 6-4 6-3 win over David Goffin.

The Canadian 12th seed needed three and a half hours and 51 winners to reach a grand slam quarter-final for the first time.

Shapovalov became the first Canadian man to reach the quarter-finals at the US Open in the Open Era.

Before Sunday, Shapovalov would have been expecting to face Djokovic in the last eight before the drama on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

 

DJOKOVIC DEFAULTS

The favourite to win the major, Djokovic was defaulted during his fourth-round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta.

Djokovic had just been broken to fall 6-5 behind in the first set when he hit a ball that struck a linesperson, leading to his disqualification.

The three-time US Open winner later posted an apology on social media as he bowed out in extraordinary circumstances.

"This whole situation has left me really sad and empty. I checked on the linesperson and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok," Djokovic wrote. "I'm extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I'm not disclosing her name to respect her privacy.

"As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being.

"I apologise to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behaviour. I'm very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I'm so sorry."

 

CORIC INTO FIRST QUARTER-FINAL

Borna Coric backed up his incredible win over Stefanos Tsitsipas by easing past Australian Jordan Thompson 7-5 6-1 6-3.

The Croatian 27th seed was too good for Thompson on his way to a first major quarter-final, where Zverev awaits.

"Look, definitely it's a very good chance for all of us. Again, like I said, I think maybe like a couple minutes ago, I need to focus on my next match and on my next opponent, which is a very, very tough opponent," Coric said afterwards.

"There's going to be new grand slam champion, for sure. Yeah, that could potentially can happen that some of us can do something more in the future. But again, it doesn't mean anything. I'm really looking forward to seeing who it's going to be. I think we all have a very good chance. Yeah, it's going to be very interesting.

"For me, the most important is just to focus on the next match, like I said at the beginning. I cannot focus on the finals or what happened earlier in the day. I just need to focus on my next match."

Alexander Zverev was "in shock" after Novak Djokovic was defaulted at the US Open on Sunday.

World number one Djokovic was stunningly disqualified after hitting a linesperson with a ball during his last-16 clash with Pablo Carreno Busta.

It means there will be a first-time grand slam champion in the men's draw, with Zverev among the contenders at Flushing Meadows.

Speaking after his 6-2 6-2 6-1 thrashing of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the German fifth seed was in disbelief to see Djokovic exit in such a manner.

"I don't think I have ever gotten defaulted yet in my career or in my life. No, I haven't been in a situation like that. But as I said, it's very unlucky, very unfortunate," Zverev told a news conference.

"The decision was made I think by the supervisors, and as I said, they are just doing their job. There is nothing much else I can say to that. I don't know. I mean, I don't know what to say. I'm a little bit in shock right now, to be honest."

Zverev will face either Croatian 27th seed Borna Coric or Australian Jordan Thompson in the quarter-finals.

A semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year, Zverev said he was excited by the men's draw in New York.

"There's going to be a new grand slam champion. That's all I know right now. There's no past grand slam champions left in the draw," he said.

"It's going to be one of the young guys, I think, if you count Dominic Thiem as a young guy, as well. He obviously has a chance to win, as well.

"Now it gets interesting. Now I think is the time where it gets really interesting. Yeah. I know who is where in the draw. I know who I can play. I know who the rest of the guys can play. Yeah. We'll see where we go from here."

Borna Coric and Denis Shapovalov produced incredible comebacks at the US Open, while Novak Djokovic eased into the last 16.

Coric and Shapovalov looked set for third-round exits at Flushing Meadows before fighting back for stunning wins on Friday.

Djokovic, meanwhile, had far fewer problems as he stayed on track for an 18th grand slam title.

There was also drama in New York before Alexander Zverev's third-round victory over Adrian Mannarino.

 

CORIC, SHAPOVALOV IN EPIC COMEBACKS

Coric was staring at an exit before responding to stun Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 4-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4).

Trailing by two sets to one, Coric – the Croatian 27th seed – fell 5-1 behind in the fourth against Tsitsipas on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

However, he saved six match points and won six consecutive games to force a decider.

After another thrilling battle, Coric came from a break down in the fifth set to reach the fourth round of a grand slam for the third time in his career.

Coric will next face Jordan Thompson after the Australian brushed past Mikhail Kukushkin 7-5 6-4 6-1.

Shapovalov also looked set for an exit against American 19th seed Taylor Fritz.

The Canadian 12th seed trailed 5-2 in the fourth set before recovering to win 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.

Shapovalov incredibly finished with 60 winners and 33 unforced errors to reach the fourth round of a grand slam for the second time in his career.

He will meet David Goffin after the Belgian seventh seed proved too good for Filip Krajinovic 6-1 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

 

NO DRAMA FOR DJOKOVIC

Djokovic's comfortable run continued with a 6-3 6-3 6-1 win over Jan-Lennard Struff on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The world number one improved to 26-0 in 2020 and he has dropped just one set through his first three rounds in New York.

Djokovic has now made at least the fourth round in his previous 13 appearances at the US Open, where he is a three-time champion.

The Serbian had won all four of his previous meetings with Struff, including twice this year, and he outclassed the German 28th seed again.

Djokovic will next face Pablo Carreno Busta after the Spanish 20th seed eased past Ricardas Berankis 6-4 6-3 6-2.

 

OFF-COURT DRAMA IN NEW YORK

Zverev's clash with Mannarino was delayed after health officials did not want the Frenchman to play.

Mannarino was one of the players put in a "bubble within a bubble" in New York after being in contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

The Frenchman's third-round clash with Zverev was delayed before he was allowed to play, suffering a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 6-2 loss to the German fifth seed.

Zverev moved into the fourth round, where Alejandro Davidovich Fokina awaits.

Davidovich Fokina got past Cameron Norrie 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 6-2 6-1.

Adrian Mannarino revealed health officials told him he should not be allowed to face Alexander Zverev at the US Open before being cleared to play.

Mannarino was one of the players put in a "bubble within a bubble" in New York after being in contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.

The Frenchman's third-round clash with Zverev was delayed before he was allowed to play, suffering a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 6-2 loss to the German fifth seed.

Mannarino explained he was ready to go on Friday before officials intervened.

"Well, I was preparing to go on court. Actually, it was like 2.30pm. We knew there was a not before 2.30pm. I was just trying to get ready, warming up with my coach. I was actually ready to go on court. It was 2.30pm or something," he told a news conference.

"The tour manager came to talk to me at this time. He explained me the situation. Obviously, the State Department of Health took over the city actually. The city actually allowed me to play with a new protocol on Sunday. Obviously the state took over this decision to say that I've been exposed to a positive case obviously, so I should be quarantined in my room and not be able to go on the tennis court and play the match.

"They told me they were trying to contact on phone some guys to see if this decision could be changed. Obviously, many efforts have been done. They told me, 'Okay, we decided to put your match not before 5.00pm'. Sascha [Zverev] agreed, which is nice. They told me, 'We're going to have a look at the situation, trying to see if we can get you on court today', which obviously they did.

"Many things might have been happening during this time. I was just trying to get ready. I said myself to be ready to go on court at 5.00pm. I told my coach if anything happens, I give him my phone, I say, 'Just try to see what's going on, I'll let you handle all these things, I'm just going to try to eat something, get ready, focus, just be prepared as if I was going on court at 5.00pm. Let's see if I'm not able to go, then I'm not able to go. But if I'm in a position to be able to play, I just want to be ready'.

"I just want to be thankful to all these people who have been trying to get me on court today. As I say, many efforts have been done. I was able to play my tennis match. I'm pretty happy about that.

"Then I heard actually around 4.30pm or 4.40pm that I've been allowed to go on court today. I needed to be prepared to go at 5.00pm, which I did. Happen what happened. Unfortunately I lost the match. But still, as I said, I'm happy I was on court."

Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas booked their spots in the US Open third round, while Novak Djokovic is also through.

Zverev and Tsitsipas, seeded fifth at fourth respectively, were challenged but came through their tests in New York on Wednesday.

The duo shape as two main threats to Djokovic at Flushing Meadows, where the grand slam is being held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Djokovic remained unbeaten this year on what was a dominant day for the seeds in the men's draw.

 

ZVEREV, TSITSIPAS CONTINUE RUNS

Zverev did not have things all his own way but was still too good for Brandon Nakashima 7-5 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 6-1.

The German – a semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year – mixed 60 winners with 35 unforced errors to advance in just under three hours.

Next up for Zverev is Adrian Mannarino, the French 32nd seed beating Jack Sock 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 6-2.

Tsitsipas reached the third round of the US Open for the first time after a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 6-4 win over Maxime Cressy.

The Greek had won just once in his previous two main-draw appearances in New York, but is through to what shapes as an entertaining clash with Borna Coric.

Coric, the Croatian 27th seed, needed more than four hours to overcome Juan Ignacio Londero 7-5 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-3.

 

DJOKOVIC GOES 25-0

After an early blip, Djokovic got past Brit Kyle Edmund 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 6-2.

The world number one improved to 25-0 this year as he chases the 18th grand slam title of his career.

"I thought there's a lot of positives in the last couple weeks. Had plenty of match play on the court. I competed great, especially in the last couple of matches during the Cincinnati tournament. Those were very important wins I think mentally for me coming into US Open," Djokovic, who won the Western & Southern Open, said.

"I don't feel tired. I don't feel like energy or recovery is going to be an issue or is an issue for me. In contrary, I actually feel very fit. I love playing best-of-five [sets]. I like my chances best of five on the centre court of US Open against anybody in the world.

"Being experienced player and playing on a big stage for so many times, obviously part of the tour for 15 years, helps in these kind of particular situations.

"I'm just going to do what I know works best for me and hope for the best."

Up next for Djokovic is Jan-Lennard Struff, who claimed a 6-2 6-2 7-5 win over Michael Mmoh.

 

SEEDS IN COMPLETE CONTROL

The seeds dominated on Wednesday as 11 of the 13 in action reached the third round.

David Goffin, Denis Shapovalov, Taylor Fritz, Filip Krajinovic and Pablo Carreno Busta were among those advancing.

The only two losses came by Cristian Garin, who was edged by Mikhail Kukushkin 6-2 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-5, and Hubert Hurkacz, the Pole falling to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4 1-6 6-2 6-2.

Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas joined Novak Djokovic in advancing at the US Open on Monday.

Zverev and Tsitsipas, two players capable of threatening Djokovic in New York, posted strong first-round wins at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic, the world number one, cruised through on what was a good day for the seeds.

Of the 16 men's seeds in action, 13 advanced.

 

ZVEREV, TSITSIPAS GET THE JOB DONE

Zverev, a semi-finalist at the Australian Open this year, needed more than three hours to get past Kevin Anderson 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 6-3 7-5.

The 2017 US Open finalist, Anderson was unable to take his chances, converting just two of five break points as Zverev capitalised on three of his four.

Zverev has never been beyond the fourth round at the US Open, but the German fifth seed could challenge this year.

Awaiting Zverev in the second round is Brandon Nakashima, who beat Paolo Lorenzi in his opener.

Tsitsipas matched his best result at the US Open by reaching the second round with a 6-2 6-1 6-1 thrashing of Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The Greek fourth seed dominated Spain's Ramos-Vinolas, losing just 18 points on serve and not facing a break point.

DJOKOVIC CONTINUES FINE FORM

Djokovic continued his good form, easing past Damir Dzumhur 6-1 6-4 6-1.

After improving to 23-0 this year by winning the Western & Southern Open, Djokovic showed few signs of fatigue despite a second-set battle.

Djokovic maintained his record of having never lost in the first round at the US Open, improving that record to 15-0.

The world number one is set to face a tougher battle in the second round, where Brit Kyle Edmund awaits.

Edmund was too good for Alexander Bublik 2-6 7-5 7-5 6-0, but has lost five of his six meetings with Djokovic.

 

SEEDS SHINE

Of the 16 seeds in action, 13 advanced to the second round.

David Goffin (seven), Denis Shapovalov (12), Cristian Garin (13), Taylor Fritz (19), Pablo Carreno Busta (20), Hubert Hurkacz (24), Filip Krajinovic (26), Borna Coric (27), Jan-Lennard Struff (28) and Adrian Mannarino (32) all advanced.

The three seeds to fall were Diego Schwartzman (nine), John Isner (16) and Dusan Lajovic (18).

Isner played almost four hours before going down to Steve Johnson 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in a thriller.

Schwartzman fell to Cameron Norrie in five sets, while Lajovic was edged by Egor Gerasimov.

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