Tennis – Australian Open – Semi Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 31, 2020. Austria’s Dominic Thiem celebrates after his match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Dominic Thiem won the new-generation battle with Alex Zverev 3-6 6-4 7-6(3) 7-6(4) to reach his first Australian Open final on Friday and set up the ultimate test against Melbourne Park maestro Novak Djokovic.
In an enthralling semi-final featuring a rain interruption, a lighting failure and a plenty of drama besides, the fifth seeded Austrian shrugged off a sluggish start and was braver on the big points under the roof at Rod Laver Arena.
He thrashed two blazing forehand winners to raise three match points in the decisive tiebreak, then sealed it with a cross-court volley to book his third Grand Slam final after losing the last two French Open deciders to Rafa Nadal.
With the men’s Grand Slams dominated for years by the ‘Big Three’ of Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer, Thiem will bid to become the first man born in the 1990s to win a major title.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Christian Radnedge