Dominic Thiem said he felt relaxed the morning of his 2020 US Open final, but the anxiety started to set in as soon as he faced Arthur Ashe to play Alexander Zverev. At the 2020 US Open, Thiem reached his fourth Grand Slam final.
Thiem got off to a very slow start in the final but recovered to beat Zverev 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(3). «I remember [that morning] pretty good, actually. I just remember it was a normal morning. The warm-up was very good with [coach] Nico Masso.
I had a great feeling. It wasn’t that different from the other three Grand Slam finals I’ve played in,» Thiem told the ATP website. “The bad thing started when the game started. I was suddenly incredibly nervous, incredibly tense.»
Thiem on what he said to himself for two sets to Zverev
Down by two sets in the 2020 US Open final, Thiem simply found out that he would lose if he continued to play tight. That helped Thiem relax and he ended up making a great comeback in the final.
«I tried to relax and tell myself, ‘If I don’t relax now, if I don’t break free now, I’m going to lose anyway,'» Thiem revealed. «That’s the last chance I have to release the handbrake, to play more aggressive, to play faster.»
Before the US Open, Thiem played only one match. In the first round of the Cincinnati Masters – which was played in New York that year – Thiem suffered a brutal 6-2, 6-1 loss to Filip Krajinovic. In the same interview for the ATP website, Thiem revealed that he decided to take a day or two off and do things other than tennis to forget that loss.
That ultimately turned out to be a good decision for Thiem. Thiem did not play at the US Open last year due to a wrist injury. This year, Thiem is making his return to the US Open as he plays Pablo Carreno Busta in the first round.