Thiem 1st since 1949 to win US Open after ceding 1st 2 sets

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Dominic Thiem of Austria serves the ball in the second set during his Men’s Singles final match against and Alexander Zverev of Germany on Day Fourteen of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 13, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Dominic Thiem became the first man in 71 years to win the U.S. Open after dropping the first two sets of the final.

Thiem earned his first Grand Slam title Sunday with a 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) comeback victory against Alexander Zverev. The U.S. Open never had been decided by a fifth-set tiebreaker.

Pancho Gonzalez made the same sort of turnaround against Ted Schroeder in 1949 to win the event then known as the U.S. Championships.

Thiem is a 27-year-old from Austria who entered Sunday with an 0-3 career record in major title matches.

This was Zverev’s debut in a Grand Slam final.

The match capped a two-tournament “controlled evironment” for tennis in New York amid the coronavirus pandemic, with regular testing for COVID-19 and zero fans allowed.

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