Superb Alexander Zverev

Updated: 13 September, 2020 11:06 IST | AFP | New York

German fifth seed makes stunning turnaround after being two sets down to beat Pablo Carreno Busta for maiden Grand Slam final entry

Alexander Zverev celebrates winning his US Open semi-final against Pablo Carreno Busta. Pic/AFP
Alexander Zverev celebrates winning his US Open semi-final against Pablo Carreno Busta. Pic/AFP

Alexander Zverev recovered from two sets down to defeat Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta in a scrappy encounter and reach the US Open final on Friday. The German fifth seed beat the 20th seed 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in three hours, 23 minutes at the Arthur Ashe Stadium to set up his first Grand Slam final. He will play second seed Dominic Thiem in Sunday's showpiece. It marked the first time in Zverev's career that he came from two sets down to win.

"I actually looked at the scoreboard when I was down two sets to love," Zverev said. "I was like, 'I can't believe it. I'm playing in a semi-final, I'm supposed to be the favourite and I have no chance, I'm playing that bad'. "So I knew I had to come up with better tennis and I knew that I had to be more stable." Zverev made 36 unforced errors in the first two sets compared to just 12 for Carreno Busta as the nerves of the occasion seemed to get the better of him.

Double fault followed double fault and a string of misplaced, nervy forehands allowed Carreno Busta to build a sizable lead. But Zverev began to seriously cut down on his mistakes in the third set, upping his service game and taking control of rallies with more powerful, accurate ground strokes. It continued to be a nervy, error-strewn affair, though, with both players appearing overwhelmed at times with coming so close to reaching their first tennis major final.

Zverev hit eight double faults overall to Carreno Busta's one. Zverev recorded 57 unforced errors to 44 for Carreno Busta. But the tall German smashed way more winners, 71 to 37. "I'm through to my first Grand Slam final and that's all that matters,"

Zverev said. "I couldn't be happier, but there's still one more step to go for me," he added.

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First Published: 13 September, 2020 10:03 IST

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