Zverev: ‘I don’t think it’s my last chance, I will be a champion’

After winning the opening two sets, Zverev looked set for victory until Thiem fought back, taking the title in a tiebreak as the German struggled through a thigh cramp.

Alexander Zverev speaks after losing to Dominic Thiem of Austria in the men's singles final of the US Open tennis championships.   -  AP

Alexander Zverev said it was too soon to look for the positives in his US Open campaign as the devastated German struggled to come to terms with Sunday’s five-set defeat to Dominic Thiem in the Flushing Meadows final.

After winning the opening two sets in his first Grand Slam final, the 23-year-old looked set for victory until second seed Thiem fought back, taking the title in a tiebreak as an exhausted Zverev struggled through a thigh cramp that neutralised his powerful serve.

READ| Thiem wins US Open final on tiebreak against Zverev after five-set thriller

“I was super close to being a Grand Slam champion. I was a few games away, maybe a few points away,” he told reporters. “I don't think it’s my last chance. I do believe that I will be a Grand Slam champion at some point.”

“I was super close to being a Grand Slam champion. I was a few games away, maybe a few points away. I don't think it’s my last chance. I do believe that I will be a Grand Slam champion at some point.”

The fifth seed said the turning point in the four-hour thriller came when Thiem broke his serve for the first time in the third set, a break which reversed the momentum of the match.

“He started playing much better and I started playing much worse,” said Zverev, who also lost to Thiem in the Australian Open semifinal earlier this year.

Asked if he could point to any positives from his time at Flushing Meadows, he was blunt: “That question is probably two, three days too early to ask right now.”

During the on-court trophy presentation Zverev tearfully thanked his parents, whom he said had both contracted the novel coronavirus.

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“Unfortunately my dad and my mother got tested positive before the tournament and they couldn’t have gone with me. I miss them,” he said, pausing to compose himself.

“I’m sure they're sitting at home, even though I lost they’re pretty proud.”

He later told reporters he was so lost in the moment that he could not recall what he had said.

“Losing 7-6 in the fifth after being two sets to love and a break up is not easy,” he said. “At the speech, I mean, I got emotional. I couldn't put two words together.

“Yeah, it was a difficult moment for me.”

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