ATP Munich: Dominic Thiem overcomes Alexander Zverev in thrilling match to reach finals

ATP Munich: Dominic Thiem overcomes Alexander Zverev in thrilling match to reach finals

The ATP NextGen stars took to the court in Munich to compete for a place in the finals. In the end, it was the slightly more experienced Thiem who defeated Zverev in three sets to make his third final of the year.

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Pavitra Ganesan

It was a first time clash between Alexander Zverev and fellow next generation star Dominic Thiem. Zverev was looking to make his first final while Thiem was trying to make his third of the year. The advantage was slightly with Thiem though who had more experience at this level of the competition. The German does have the confidence booster of knocking out the top seed David Goffin earlier.

He got off to the perfect start taking the first set as Thiem seemed to have trouble finding his groove. The Austrian then came firing back to force a decider before riding the momentum and outplaying Zverev 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the finals.

Zverev applies early pressure to take the first set

Zverev got the better of Thiem applying early pressure and earned the break in the third game with a thumping backhand down the line return winner. Thiem though created his first break point immediately finishing off a rally with his huge forehand. Zverev handed the break back with an unfortunate double fault to level the set 2-2.

Both players were hammering their forehands at each other looking to gain advantage. Thiem’s struggles on serve continued as he faced double break points after overcooking his volley. The Austrian saved one after a brilliant tussle but eventually succumbed as Zverev broke for 3-2 before going on to consolidate for 4-2.

Zverev takes the lead in the opening set | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Zverev takes the lead in the opening set | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

It was getting dismal for Thiem who hit three double faults in the seventh game giving the German chance to get the double break. Thiem composed himself to hang on to trail by the solitary game. He then had the opportunity to get the break back after a couple of errors from Zverev but again the German digged deep to maintain to hold on to his lead for 5-3. Thiem held on to the next game but there was no stopping Zverev who wrapped up the set 6-4 in 49 minutes.

Thiem wins an early break before racing away

The double fault woes for Thiem returned, gifting Zverev an early break opportunity. However, the Austrian did well in the end to hold to start the second set. Thiem was trying drop shots to unsettle the German but Zverev was reading most of them well and held serve comfortably. The German was however disturbed by people in the crowd and momentarily lost focus in the fourth game handing Thiem triple break points. He was only able to save two of those as he lost serve for the first time to give Thiem a 3-1 lead.

Thiem came firing back in the second set | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Thiem came firing back in the second set | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

The Austrian had another poor service game filled with double faults but Zverev was not able to capitalize as Thiem hung on to a 5-2 lead. The momentum was now with Thiem, who had set point after winning an enticing rally with a lob winner. Zverev was fighting hard but eventually gave the set to Thiem who clinched it 6-2 to bring to a decider.

Thiem finds a way to break down Zverev

Thiem started off where he left finding the early break with a ripping forehand much to the frustration of Zverev who insisted it was out. The German though channelled the frustration to get the break back for 1-2. Thiem’s drop shot placement were improving as he troubled the German creating break point in the process. And the Austrian converted unleashing a fiery backhand winner to lead once again.

Zverev went down again after finding the break back | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Zverev went down again after finding the break back | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Thiem was well in control now, pulling the strings and dragging Zverev all over the court with his increasingly frequent drop shots. The German struggled as Thiem extended his lead with ease to 4-1. Zverev was not making headway on the Austrian’s serve as Thiem raced to 5-2.

Thiem well in control in the decider | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Thiem well in control in the decider | Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

The German held serve one more time to force Thiem to serve it out. Full of confidence now, Thiem sealed victory on his second match point with an ace to close out the match.

Finals

With that win, he would face either Philip Kohlschreiber or Fabio Fognini in the finals.

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