Sporting Life: In the fifth set, a tense, tired duel for a first Slam

Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning championship point in his final match against Alexander Zverev.PHOTO: AFP

Painted in perspiration, their faces are like shiny portraits in stress. It's the fifth set of the US Open final and pressure clings to them, clogs their joints, stills their feet. Winning a first Slam is supposed to be hard but, god, this hard?

Pressure is evident in Alexander Zverev's hiccuping second serves, in the overly-careful Dominic Thiem's backhand slices, in the 120 unforced errors they collect all day.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2020, with the headline 'In the fifth set, a tense, tired duel for a first Slam'. Print Edition | Subscribe