Australian open: Thiem battles Djokovic for title
Dominic Thiem of Austria defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev 3/6; 6/4; 7/6(3); 7/6(4) to set up a title match with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic who had won a one-sided battle against injured Roger Federer of Switzerland.
Zverev delivered his first ace in the match and held the fourth game of the first set to level 2-all. In ninth game, Thiem fought back from 0-30 to reach 40-30 but was deuced on his a missed drive volley. Zverev had the first advantage and won the set 6/3.
The German was averaging 85 percent success on first serves while Thiem reached 71 percent. From the outset, the serve was a major determinant of the outcome.
Zverev served and took the first game of the second set but conceded a break in the third game and Thiem extended the lead 3-1. The single break enabled Thiem to take the set 6/4.
Zverev broke Thiem’s serve to level 3-all and won the seventh game at love from his opponent who was visibly upset over blowing his lead. Although Thiem took the eighth game, Zverev delivered his tenth ace to level 5-4 after a rare show of sportsmanship by Thiem who encouraged his opponent to make a challenge that reversed a call against Zverev. The set reached a tie breaker in which Zverev conceded three service points to lose by 7 points to 4.
The fourth set was a battle of serves in which each player held service quickly. Only in the eighth game did the server reach 40-30 before taking the game. Only the tenth game reached deuce when Zverev sealed a possible break threat with his 15th ace.
Thiem opened the eleventh game with his 9th ace while Zverev hammered his 16th ace in the twelfth game. The tie-break was determined by serving. Thiem lost one point on serve while Zverev conceded four points, leading to the final tally of 7 points to four and the Thiem victory.