Grigor Dimitrov ended third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas' Vienna Open hopes with a battling last-16 win on Thursday.

Tsitsipas, who took Novak Djokovic to five sets in the French Open semi-finals this month, had come from behind to beat Jan-Lennard Struff in his opener in Austria but was this time on the wrong end of a fightback.

The Greek edged the first set after a tie-break but failed to convert either of his break points in a 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3 reverse.

It was Dimitrov who prevailed after two hours and 14 minutes for his first top-10 win of the season, securing a quarter-final against Dan Evans.

"It's never easy to come out of a situation like that," Dimitrov said. "I was focused, but he went for it.

"In the tie-break a few close calls here and there went his way. [There was] not much else I could have done, I felt. But I kept on believing and kept on doing the right things.

"I stayed in the match, which I think was the most important thing. He's such a great competitor. You always have to be ready. I was just focusing on the most simple things of the game."

The other seeds found life a little easier on Thursday, with Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev each through to face one another.

Reigning champion Thiem brushed aside Cristian Garin in straight sets, while Rublev was granted a walkover as Jannik Sinner succumbed to a foot injury early in their meeting.

Daniil Medvedev also advanced but needed three sets after dropping the first to Vasek Pospisil.

Djokovic was not in action, meanwhile, but learned the identity of his Friday quarter-final opponent as Lorenzo Sonego reached the last eight.

Novak Djokovic battled to a straight-sets win over compatriot Filip Krajinovic in the opening round of the Vienna Open. 

The world number one, competing in the Austrian event for the first time since winning it in 2007, saved a set point in a tie-break during the opener on his way to a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 triumph. 

He had to work hard as Krajinovic, who lost to Djokovic in last month's Italian Open at the last-16 stage, twice broke serve in a tight opener, helping establish a 5-3 lead at one point. 

Djokovic hit back in the 10th game to break his opponent for a second time as the opener went to a tie-break, which he edged 8-6 after Krajinovic failed to convert an opportunity when 6-5 up. 

The second set was far more straightforward for the 33-year-old, however, as he held serve throughout and broke Krajinovic once to progress through.

"We practiced a few times [together] before coming to Vienna," Djokovic revealed in his on-court interview. 

"The draw was tough for us to face each other, but there is always extra pressure and importance to a match when you play someone that you know very well."

Borna Coric is up next for Djokovic after the world number 26 beat Taylor Fritz on the opening day of action. 

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Grigor Dimitrov held off fellow top-20 player Karen Khachanov 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in a competitive match, while Hubert Hurkacz beat Attila Balazs in straight sets. 

Dan Evans also advanced to the last 16, where Jurij Rodionov awaits, after Aljaz Bedene withdrew with a thigh complaint when a set down.

Dominic Thiem admitted fatigue had left him "over the limit" of his own endurance as he lost an epic French Open quarter-final to Diego Schwartzman.

The US Open champion was beaten 7-6 (7-1) 5-7 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after five hours and eight minutes of exhausting tennis on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Thiem has struggled with injury concerns and a more general physical weariness in Paris but produced a remarkable level of resistance against the inspired Schwartzman, who has reached his first grand slam semi-final.

However, after the Argentine snatched the fourth set during a fiercely fought tie-break, he assumed control of the decider to record perhaps the biggest win of his career.

Thiem accepted he was physically unable to compete in the fifth set but could not complain about the result or his performance level at Roland Garros.

"To be honest, I was over the limit today," he said. "But if I would have won, I mean, Diego in that case, he has two days off now. Maybe I would have recovered [for the semi-finals]. Even though I'm physically and mentally on the edge, you never know in a slam.

"But, well, at the end I gave everything I had out there. It was an amazing match. I think [it was] the first in my career over five hours. Diego fully deserves it.

"I was doing quite well. Also today, I still could play at quite a high level for more than five hours. But, I mean, he was keeping it up until the end. He was probably a little bit fresher than me in the fifth set, so that's why he won.

"In general, I mean, I'm not sad with my performance here in Roland Garros. I mean, it was pretty short time with the long trip home, jet lag, and everything. Then, of course, the first slam, which is a special thing. Come here, play in pretty brutal conditions, I would say. I cannot say it was a bad tournament, I'm pretty happy about it."

Schwartzman had three set points on serve in the fourth but Thiem was able to force the breaker thanks in part to an astonishing running forehand winner.

Once his opponent and good friend had levelled the contest, however, he felt the match was out of his hands.

"I came back unbelievable in the fourth set," he said. "When he served for it at 5-4, 40-Love, I played this down-the-line winner. The match was basically all the time on the edge for both
of us. Tiebreak at 5-5 he played a great point. With that in the bag, I think he had a little advantage in the fifth set.

"I think if I would have wanted to win that match, I should have done it in four. In the fifth set, he was just a little bit more fresh and better than me.

"I'm super disappointed that I lost, that I didn't make the semis this year. But at the same time I'm happy for him. He really deserves it. It's an amazing achievement by him to break into the top 10 for the first time in the career.

"Maybe to lose against a friend hurts a little bit less, yeah."

Speaking on court after his win, Schwartzman said: "Dominic is one of the best players right now in the world. We are friends. I have a lot of respect for him and that's why this match is very, very important for me.

"This is the third time I've played five sets here and I think at the end of this night I deserve to win.

"In the second set and third set I was out of my mind. I was crazy, screaming, talking to my coach. My coach was saying 'play tennis, nothing else'.

"I was so nervous because I saw a chance today and didn't take it in the second or the third. But I'm very happy."

Diego Schwartzman emerged triumphant from an extraordinary five-set French Open battle with Dominic Thiem to reach the first grand slam semi-final of his career.

After an epic, back-and-forth match lasting five hours and eight minutes, Schwartzman savoured a 7-6 (7-1) 5-7 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win - one of the most memorable victories in his career.

Schwartzman, a finalist in Rome last month, came into the match having not dropped a set in Paris, while US Open champion Thiem had been taken the distance by French youngster Hugo Gaston on Sunday.

The Argentinian drew first blood but Thiem levelled the contest and then saved a set point in the third before moving 2-1 ahead.

An early break in the fourth appeared to have Thiem on course for victory but Schwartzman was able to force a dramatic decider.

The fifth was the most one-sided set of the match, Schwartzman breaking a run of holds with a crucial break of serve in the sixth game, and victory was his when a weary Thiem netted a drop shot.

Schwartzman will face 12-time champion Rafael Nadal or Jannik Sinner, who were scheduled to play later on Tuesday.

A gruelling first set lasting over an hour was a sign of things to come.

An astonishing ninth game in the second set lasted almost 16 minutes as Thiem could not convert six break points, but he was finally able to strike in his next game returning serve and then held to take the set as Schwartzman found the net with a backhand.

The tension was palpable in an unbelievable third set that saw both players broken four times. Thiem led 5-1 and 6-4 in the breaker and could not convert his first two set points, before rallying to win two straight points and move in front, sealing it with a smash.

Another overhead saw Thiem break first in the fourth set but, just as it looked like the match had taken a decisive turn, Schwartzman struck straight back.

Schwartzman built leads of 4-2 and 5-3 but saw three set points go begging as he tried to serve it out at 5-4, Thiem sending a stunning forehand winner on the run down the line to make it 5-5.

Thiem, apparently desperate to avoid another five-setter, let rip with aggressive groundstrokes, but when the fourth set went the way of Schwartzman, the South American became favourite.

Breaking Thiem to love to lead 4-2 in that decider put Schwartzman in sight of the winning line, which he soon reached, the pair stopping to chat at the net at the end of the contest, each appreciative of the other's efforts in a remarkable battle.

Jannik Sinner became the first French Open debutant to reach the quarter-finals since Rafael Nadal in 2005, as the highly rated Italian beat Alexander Zverev to set up a clash with the 'King of Clay'.

Nadal had earlier made light work of Sebastian Korda to book his passage to the next round, dropping just four games in three sets as he comfortably dispatched his 20-year-old opponent.

The Spaniard is going for a 13th title in the French capital and, while he was clearly a cut above, Korda's 48 unforced errors certainly aided his cause on Sunday.

But the day belonged to 19-year-old Sinner, who looks destined for big things.

SINNER THROUGH BUT ZVEREV IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Sinner was in electrifying form on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, beating Zverev 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Sinner converted five of his six chances to break Zverev, who appeared curiously underwhelming on the day. He hit just 20 winners, a little over half of Sinner's 39, highlighting the gulf in decisiveness.

In claiming victory, Sinner became the youngest male player to reach a grand slam quarter-final in 14 years and he felt that, having trained with Zverev on occasion in the past, he was well prepared.

"It has been tough. We have practiced sometimes in Monaco, so we know [each other] quite well," said Sinner on court. "Today was very tough, knowing that it was going to be a long match. At the end, I am very happy about my performance."

But Zverev controversially revealed after the match that he had been suffering with a fever and that he should not have even taken to the court.

The German claimed he had tested negative for coronavirus, though he did not specify when his most recent test was.

NADAL AWARE OF HIS EXCELLENCE

As he prepares for his quarter-final with Sinner, Nadal is well aware he is in imperious form.

Korda offered little resistance on the whole as the second seed ran out a 6-1 6-1 6-2 victor against a player who idolised him growing up – so much so he even named his cat 'Rafa'.

And although the American got his claws into Nadal with a couple of early break chances, the favourite was soon purring and took just 40 minutes to take a one-set lead.

Nadal only struck nine winners over the first two sets, but Korda's error count continued to rise and give his opponent a boost.

The 19-time major champion was left feeling pretty good about his form afterwards as well.

"Well, I'm in the quarter-finals without losing a set and having very positive scores. So, I can't complain at all. So, I'm happy for that," he said.

He then went on to consider the threat posed by Sinner, adding: "He's young, he's improving every single week. So, he's playing better and better and better. It will be a big challenge. It will be the first time playing against him on the tour. I practiced with him a couple of times, he has an amazing potential, he moves the hand very quick and he's able to produce amazing shots."

THIEM FIGHTS BACK

Third seed Dominic Thiem had to dig deep to see off Hugo Gaston in five after throwing away a two-set lead against the world number 239.

Eventually Thiem progressed 6-4 6-4 5-7 3-6 6-3, emerging victorious after just over three and a half hours on court.

French wildcard Gaston received a standing ovation from his home support on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with the fans enamoured with the underdog as he pushed one last year's runner-up all the way.

Thiem acknowledged that he was fortunate to come through the test.

"I think I stayed pretty calm even though it was a tough match mentally, physically. I just read before that he played 58 drop shots. I think only three or four of them went into the net, so I made more than 50 full sprints to the net. So that was really, really tough," he said.

Up next for Thiem is a quarter-final with Diego Schwartzman, one of his closest allies on the ATP Tour, with the Argentinian seeing off Lorenzo Sonego with relative ease 6-1 6-3 6-4.

"I'm happy of course to face one of my best friends from the tour in the quarter-finals," Thiem added.

"From my perspective, it's all about recovery. I'm not running on a full tank anymore. That's for sure.  So, I try to recover as good as I can. If I'm able to do that, if somehow I don't make it until Tuesday, I think he's going to be the heavy favourite."

Hugo Gaston was the toast of Roland Garros as the young Frenchman announced himself to the tennis world by sinking former champion Stan Wawrinka.

Ranked a lowly 239th in the world, Toulouse-born Gaston was tackling a player who has reached two French Open finals and eyeing a third trip to the title match.

Left-hander Gaston had other ideas though, and in a third-round contest that was halted by rain for over two hours in the third set, he scored a 2-6 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-0 over the illustrious Swiss.

That victory came on a Friday when 12-time champion Rafael Nadal produced what he described as his best tennis so in his favourite grand slam, as he and Dominic Thiem remained on course for a semi-final showdown.

Lorenzo Sonego won an epic third set tie-break against Taylor Fritz, taking it 19-17 to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time, while his fellow Italian Jannik Sinner and American Sebastian Korda also entered previously uncharted territory in their careers.

GASTON'S BIG MOMENT

Already the last French player standing in the men's singles, the prospect of Gaston ending Wawrinka's hopes looked slim, with the three-time grand slam winner having looked sharp in the first two rounds, beating Andy Murray and the useful German Dominik Koepfer.

Yet Gaston, a wildcard entry who only turned 20 last Saturday, gave French tennis a major shot in the arm with a terrific performance.

He and Wawrinka had to retreat to the locker room at 2-2 in the third set, with the match finely poised, and an immediate break on the resumption from Gaston spoke volumes for his focus.

The deciding set was strangely one-sided, and Gaston, who benefited from 74 unforced errors from the Wawrinka racket, was able to celebrate the greatest moment of his fledgling career.

He said afterwards: "It's crazy what's happening. I tried to play my game, I went on the court to win."

Addressing the small crowd on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, he added: "I didn't necessarily think I would win, but you pushed me. Thank you all."

On the prospect of facing Thiem, Gaston said: "It's going to be a crazy experience. I will do everything to win too."

The ATP revealed Gaston is the lowest-ranked player to reach the fourth round of the French Open since Arnaud Di Pasquale in 2002 achieved the feat when 283rd in the world.

THIEM IN RUUD HEALTH

Thiem, the third seed, dashed to a 6-4 6-3 6-1 win against Norway's Casper Ruud. It was a case of the Austrian making light work of what looked a tricky task against a player who reached semi-finals in Rome and Hamburg before coming to Paris.

He got the job done in two and a quarter hours, and at that stage would have been expecting to face Wawrinka in the fourth round.

Thiem will no doubt do his homework on Gaston before they play, with the recently crowned US Open champion targeting a third visit to the French Open final, having been runner-up in each of the last two years.

"Of course I'm starting to feel all the last weeks physically, also emotionally," Thiem said. "I really love this tournament, and I would love to go deep to play well. I'll do everything to get a good recovery."

RAFA BEGINNING TO PURR

A 96th match win at Roland Garros from Nadal came moments after Gaston's thunder-stealing moment.

He swept away the hopes of Italian Stefano Travaglia, a 6-1 6-4 6-0 victory emphasising the form Nadal is running into, having delayed his post-lockdown return to action and skipped the US Open.

Next for Nadal is Korda, and the son of former French Open runner-up Petr Korda revealed that as a youngster he had a pet cat Rafa, named after the Spanish great.

"That says a lot about how much I love the guy," Korda said.

Responding to that bombshell, Nadal said: "Well, that means that I have been on the TV for such a long time, that's the main thing. The same like when I was a kid, I was watching Sampras, Agassi, Carlos Moya.

"Another negative thing is that it means I'm 34. That's another point that is not beautiful. But I'm happy to hear that. I know he's playing great. He's a very young kid with a lot of power. I think he has an amazing future - hopefully not yet."

Rafael Nadal has won a record 12 French Open titles but he declared on Wednesday that Roland Garros perfection will always elude him.

Spanish great Nadal began to move through the gears as he steamed through to the third round in Paris with a 6-1 6-0 6-3 win over American Mackenzie McDonald.

It was the sort of performance that was the ideal response to a similarly clinical first-round win by Novak Djokovic a day earlier, and showed Nadal stepping up after a more challenging workout against Egor Gerasimov in his opener.

Nadal says a tennis player might only experience anything close to perfection fleetingly in a career. It might be that he needs to approach such imperiousness to triumph for a 13th time at the clay-court grand slam.

Dominic Thiem, as well as Djokovic, are on the scent of the title, and Stan Wawrinka is emerging as a dark horse, the Swiss believing he can be a contender.

Thiem, Wawrinka and Alexander Zverev were among the seeds to reach the third round on Wednesday, in three, four and five sets respectively.

NADAL CONCEDES DEFEAT... TO HOPES OF TENNIS PERFECTION

The greatest of all French Open champions knows there will always be room for improvement in his game, even when he is playing with the sort of gusto that swept away McDonald in 100 minutes of wizardry on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Nadal was asked afterwards whether he has ever played a perfect match, and what such a performance would look like.

"Perfection is difficult. I really believe that word in sport, especially in tennis, doesn't exist," Nadal said.

"You're always going to have mistakes. At the end of the day, the perfect match or the closest-to-perfect match is when you win. When you win, you're going to have the chance to play again the next day. That's the goal in this sport.

"It's not a sport where you have to look for perfection. Perfection is not going to happen. But close to be playing very, very well, yeah, it's happening.

"Close to perfection can happen a couple of times in your life. Then when this happens, when the best players are playing at that level, then the normal thing is that these guys wins the tournaments."

'STANIMAL' WAWRINKA IS PROWLING WITH INTENT

After sweeping aside Andy Murray in round one, Wawrinka, who won the first of his three slam titles at the French Open six years ago, is fancying his chances of a long run.

He saw off Germany's Dominik Koepfer 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-1 on Wednesday, a decent outcome against a player who took a set off Djokovic in the Rome quarter-finals earlier in September.

"I've been practising right. I'm feeling good. I like the conditions here. I enjoy being back playing grand slams," Wawrinka, who enjoys his 'Stanimal' nickname, explained.

"It's great to be able to have the chance to play this year's French Open. Seeing what's happening in the world, it's something different.

"We are lucky to be able to play here. I'm ready for it. I'm ready for the next round. Let's see what will happen in the next two weeks."

His match against Koepfer was interrupted by what sounded like a huge explosion, which was heard across Paris and was later confirmed as a sonic boom caused by a military aircraft.

"I was shocked like everybody," Wawrinka said. "For sure, we asked the umpire to let me know what it was. Everybody had the answer quite early, so it was all good."

THIEM RIDING A 'HAPPY WAVE'

Despite finishing runner-up to Nadal in the last two Roland Garros finals, Thiem no longer feels like a grand slam nearly man thanks to his recent US Open triumph.

But after beating Jack Sock 6-1 6-3 7-6 (8-6), the Austrian third seed admitted it is the adrenaline that comes with winning which is keeping him from physical collapse.

"Generally I'm feeling pretty good," he said. "I'm still a little bit on the happy wave of New York, I would say.

"Of course, at one point I'm going to get super tired. I guess all the tension and focus on Roland Garros, it's hiding still the tiredness and everything. I hope I can push it as far as I can."

Wawrinka and Thiem are on a fourth-round collision course.

Zverev, beaten by Thiem in the US Open final, was some way short of his best as he scrambled for a 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 win against Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

John Isner, Benoit Paire and Kei Nishikori were among the notable casualties on day four of the tournament, but the title favourites remain firmly on course for the second week.

Daniil Medvedev suffered a stunning late-night defeat to Marton Fucsovics after Rafael Nadal beat Egor Gerasimov in the first round of the French Open on Monday.

Fourth seed Medvedev became the biggest casualty in the men's draw at Roland Garros as Hungarian Fucsovics, ranked 63, won 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 6-1 on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

It was after 11.30pm in Paris when the 28-year-old Fucsovics secured the first win against a top-five opponent in his career under the floodlights.

Medvedev lost the second set when he was given a point penalty for smashing his racket on an evening to forget for the Russian, who prompted raised eyebrows from his opponent when he won a point with an underarm serve.

Nadal overcame Gerasimov 6-4 6-4 6-2 and made notable strides from his quarter-final loss to Diego Schwartzman at the Internazionali d'Italia, while US Open champion Dominic Thiem also cruised into the second round.

The shocks came as eighth seed Gael Monfils, a semi-finalist in 2008, lost 6-4 7-5 3-6 6-3 to Alexander Bublik while 19th seed and rising star Felix Auger Aliassime was defeated by Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5 6-3 6-3.

Monfils' compatriot Corentin Moutet was knocked out by qualifier Lorenzo Giustino in a marathon five-setter and clay-court specialist Fabio Fognini tumbled out in four sets in his match with Mikhail Kukushkin.

NADAL RESUMES NORMAL SERVICE

Having struggled on serve in his surprise defeat to Schwartzman in the last eight in Rome, Nadal was much improved in that regard against Gerasimov.

He won 82 per cent of points on his first serve, with his improvement in that area leaving Nadal satisfied after coming through the first test in his quest for title number 13.

"I am trying to serve with high percentage. That's the first step that I have to do," said Nadal. "When I know that I can have a big percentage of first serves, then is the moment to increase the speed and increase the aggressiveness on the serve, no? Step by step. Today was the first step.

"Tomorrow, another day for practice. That's the only thing that I try to look at at this tournament, no? Try to be happy about every single improvement and try to give me a chance to be better every day."

THIEM NOT CAUGHT COLD BY CILIC

Thiem, fresh off his victory at Flushing Meadows, comfortably prevailed in a battle of US Open champions with Marin Cilic, spoiling the Croatian's 32nd birthday.

Thiem triumphed 6-4 6-3 6-3 and, while much has been made of the cold and the heavier balls at this year's event, the conditions are of no concern to the Austrian.

He said: "Conditions, I'm used to them or I know how to play in those kinds of conditions obviously because in Austria, we have many days like that. And then from junior times and when I started to play professional on the futures in March in Croatia or Czech Republic, there were many tournaments with similar conditions. Cold, heavy balls.

"So, it's not really something new for me, and it helps against guys like Marin, because it's a little bit easier to return many serves back in the court and to run down almost every ball. So, I like these conditions. And anyway, we have to do the best we can, because it's a very special year."

MOUTET LOSES SIX-HOUR MARATHON

There was more disappointment for the small number of home fans as Moutet followed Monfils in tumbling out of the tournament, albeit in significantly more dramatic fashion.

Moutet will have been expected to come through his clash with Giustino with little difficulty but was outlasted in an epic that was finally settled after six hours and five minutes of play.

Giustino progressed 0-6 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-3) 2-6 18-16 and fell to his back in celebration as he came through a marathon encounter.

Asked for his thoughts on the contest, Moutet said: "My feelings, I don't know. We played a really long match, so I don't know. I don't feel anything in my body right now. I feel empty."

US Open champion Dominic Thiem was dealt a difficult hand in an exciting men's French Open draw, while Serena Williams was handed a tough route in the women's competition.

Thiem finally ended his wait for a first major title in New York earlier this month, beating Alexander Zverev in a five-set epic after losing his prior three finals.

Two of those came in the most recent two French Open finals against Rafael Nadal, although there will be no repeat this year.

Thiem is in the bottom half of the draw along with Nadal, who starts against Egor Gerasimov, and has a tricky schedule right from the outset.

The Austrian has grand slam winner Marin Cilic in the first round, and Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka – two other former major champions – are potential fourth-round opponents as they begin against one another in an intriguing clash.

Nadal could have to tackle John Isner in the last 16, while Zverev is also in the bottom half of the draw.

World number one Novak Djokovic has Mikael Ymer up first and could meet Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarter-finals, having been defaulted from the US Open when facing the Spaniard – his only defeat of the year.

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are in the top half, too.

Meanwhile, Williams, still bidding for a record-equalling 24th major title, is set to meet Victoria Azarenka in round four.

Azarenka came from a set down to beat Williams in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows before she was defeated in the championship match by Naomi Osaka, who is absent in France.

Defending champion Ash Barty and 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu are also missing, while world number 10 Belinda Bencic withdrew shortly before the draw.

But Williams still faces a difficult task just to reach the final.

A potential victory over Azarenka in the last 16 could see the 38-year-old paired with third seed Elina Svitolina in the quarters, while top seed, world number two and 2018 champion Simona Halep is also in the same half.

Williams starts against Kristie Ahn, who she defeated in her US Open opener.

Kiki Bertens is in the same quarter as Halep, which sees arguably the pick of the first-round matches as Coco Gauff takes on Johanna Konta, last year's semi-finalist.

Marketa Vondrousova, beaten by Barty in the 2019 final, is a potential fourth-round opponent for Halep.

Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova are in the same section as former champion Jelena Ostapenko and Germany's Angelique Kerber, who could complete a career Grand Slam.

Garbine Muguruza, another previous winner, is in Sofia Kenin's quarter with Aryna Sabalenka.

Rafael Nadal said Dominic Thiem deserved to win the US Open title in New York.

Thiem claimed his maiden major title with a dramatic five-set victory over Alexander Zverev in the final at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.

The Austrian finally broke through after losing three grand slam finals, including two to Nadal at the French Open.

Nadal praised Thiem for his success, which came with the Spaniard and Roger Federer not in the draw and with Novak Djokovic having defaulted in the fourth round.

"I'm happy for Dominic. If somebody deserved to win a big title it's him," he said. 

"A super hard worker, very focused on his goals, a good person, a good human being. He deserved it.

"Sorry to Sascha [Zverev], he was close but in some ways I think even though Sascha played a great final, I think the road to the final from Dominic had been a little bit more solid.

"So in some ways he deserved the title and Sascha will have more chances in the future. But after a lot of years of hard work, I think Dominic deserved it. I'm happy for him."

Nadal is set to face Pablo Carreno Busta at the Internazionali d'Italia in his first match since the ATP Tour season resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Alexander Zverev lamented missed chances after coming "super close" to being a grand slam champion in a loss to Dominic Thiem.

Zverev fell short in a dramatic US Open final on Sunday, losing 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to Thiem on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Playing his first major final, Zverev was also up a break in the third set and led 5-3 in the fifth before losing.

Zverev was disappointed to let the opportunities slip away in the decider.

"I was super close to being a grand slam champion. I was a few games away, maybe a few points away," he told a news conference.

"For me what upset me the most is not the third set or something like that, it's the fifth set. I had a lot of chances in the fifth set and didn't use them.

"I'm 23 years old. I don't think it's my last chance. I do believe that I will be a grand slam champion at some point."

Zverev served 15 double faults in his defeat, having made the better start before Thiem responded.

He said it was difficult to accept his loss after being in such a promising position.  

"Obviously being two sets to love and a break up in a grand slam final then losing is not easy," Zverev said.

"Yeah, I mean, the match turned when he broke me I think for the first time in the third set.

"I think he started playing much better and I started playing much worse. That's when the match turned. But I still had plenty of chances after that." 

Dominic Thiem described his US Open success as a dream come true after rallying from two sets down to claim his first grand slam crown in New York.

After three runners-up appearances in major finals, second seed Thiem finally broke through by outlasting Alexander Zverev 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.

The Austrian, who overcame a slow start, became the first player to rally from two sets down to win a US Open final in the Open Era, and first since 1949.

Thiem is also the first man born in the 1990s to win a grand slam after prevailing in more than four hours in a rollercoaster final on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"Definitely I achieved a life goal, a dream of myself, which I had for many, many years," Thiem told reporters after his memorable comeback against the fifth-seeded German. "Of course, as a kid, as well, when I started to play tennis. But back then it's so far away.

"Then I got closer and closer to the top. At one point I realised that, wow, maybe one day I can really win one of the four biggest titles in tennis.

"I put a lot of work in. I mean, I dedicated basically my whole life until this point to win one of the four majors. Now I did it. That's also for myself a great accomplishment.

"I mean, it's by far not only myself, it's an accomplishment from all my team, from all my family. I guess also today is the day where I gave back huge amount of what they did for me."

Thiem lost a thrilling Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic earlier this year, having fallen short in the 2018 and 2019 French Open deciders to Rafael Nadal.

"When I first realised that maybe one day I could really win a major was when I first broke into the semis of Roland Garros, when I broke into top 10," said the 27-year-old Thiem, who never gave up hope against Zverev. "From that moment on I dreamed about it. I thought that it's maybe realistic.

"Back then I thought my biggest chances by far are on clay. But then the end of last year somehow changed a lot of things when I won Beijing, when I won Vienna, when I played the great Nitto ATP Finals. Then I realised that my game is suiting the hard courts really well.

"Of course, since I'm working with Nico [Massu], we improved my game on hard court a lot. Also changed my mind that many shots are working great on that surface. So I think my best major until now US Open, I played in Australia. Now it's not for me that big surprise anymore that it's not the French. At the end it doesn't matter to me. Main thing is that I have one of these four now."

As Thiem basks in his first major triumph, attention quickly turns to the upcoming French Open in Paris.

The rescheduled French Open is due to get underway on September 27 at Roland Garros amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about the transition from hard to clay courts, two-time French Open runner-up Thiem said: "I think physically I'm going to be fine, 100 per cent. I'm going to have enough time to recover from all the troubles I had.

"But the question is how I'm going to do it with the emotions mentally. Obviously, I've never been in this situation. I achieved a big, big goal. Well, I don't know how I'm going to feel the next days.

"At the same time it's going to be or I expect that it's going to be easier for me now in the biggest tournaments because I had it in the back of my head that I had a great career so far, way better career than I could ever dreamt of, but until today there was still a big part, a big goal missing.

"With this goal achieved, I think and I hope that I'm going to be a little bit more relaxed and play a little bit more freely at the biggest events."

Dominic Thiem made history as he came from behind to edge Alexander Zverev to win his first grand slam title at the US Open on Sunday.

In a rollercoaster decider on a quiet Arthur Ashe Stadium, Thiem – playing his fourth major final – eventually closed out a 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) victory.

The Austrian became the first player to rally from two sets down to win a US Open final in the Open Era, and first since 1949.

Thiem is also the first man born in the 1990s to win a grand slam, needing more than four hours in the first US Open final to be decided by a fifth-set tie-break.

There were six breaks of serve in the final set, with Zverev – playing his first major final – giving up a 5-3 lead before Thiem also failed to serve it out at 6-5.

But as both players looked tired and with Thiem, 27, seemingly cramping, he managed to hold his nerve the better of the two to win a first major.

Zverev, who came from two sets down to beat Pablo Carreno Busta in the last four, was this time on the front foot from the outset and needed only 30 minutes to take the opener.

The German, 23, broke his apparently anxious opponent twice in the first set and raced into a 5-1 lead in the second.

Thiem raced forward to volley at the net and earn one break back, but Zverev served out the set and quickly went about making progress in the third.

Yet another poor service game concluded with a wayward stroke under little pressure, seemingly bringing the finish line into view after just 90 minutes of play.

But Thiem finally showed some resilience and, despite seeing one opportunity pass with an agonising miss at the back of the court, he tied the set again, then staying patient before another gain took the match to a fourth as the wobbling Zverev went wide.

Thiem's level improved as both held comfortably to begin the fourth set, although the Austrian was passive as he squandered two break points in the sixth game.

But Thiem would take his next chance, grabbing a 5-3 lead when Zverev double faulted and then sent a forehand into the net, before closing it out to force a fifth set.

The pair traded breaks to begin the decider as both showed nerves before Thiem recovered from 0-30 in the sixth game and fell behind again in the eighth, Zverev breaking for a 5-3 lead, only to give that advantage straight back with a poor game when serving for the title.

Serving at 30-30 in the 10th game, Thiem produced two spectacular forehands, the first a rocket down the line before a passing shot.

Thiem, looking the more tired and perhaps cramping, broke for 6-5 when Zverev sent a forehand well long, but he too failed to serve it out after a brief visit from the trainer.

Zverev's 15th double fault gave Thiem a 5-3 lead in the tie-break before the latter squandered two match points, including one from a weak second serve from the German.

But Thiem would finally close out victory, falling onto his back behind the baseline as Zverev pulled a backhand wide to complete a dramatic finish.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Thiem [2] bt Zverev [5] 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6)

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Thiem – 43/55
Zverev – 52/64

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Thiem – 8/8
Zverev – 15/15

BREAK POINTS WON

Thiem – 7/13 
Zverev – 8/18

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE

Thiem – 62
Zverev – 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE

Thiem – 68/48
Zverev – 70/41

TOTAL POINTS

Thiem – 162
Zverev – 159

Daniil Medvedev felt Dominic Thiem played like a member of the 'big three' in their US Open semi-final on Friday.

Thiem triumphed in straight sets 6-2 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-5) after Medvedev – the runner-up at Flushing Meadows last year – passed up a set point in the second-set tie-break and another when serving with a 5-3 lead in the third.

With Novak Djokovic having been defaulted from his fourth-round meeting with Pablo Carreno Busta for hitting a line judge with a ball, Rafael Nadal opting out of the tournament due to coronavirus concerns, and Roger Federer sitting out after undergoing knee surgery, the US Open will see the first maiden grand slam champion since Marin Cilic in 2014.

But Medvedev still felt like he was up against one of the ATP Tour's leading three players in his meeting with Thiem, who will battle Alexander Zverev in Sunday's showpiece.

"He played like a real champion. As I say, that's actually the stress of big three. No matter which day you play them, it seems like they play the same level," said Medvedev.

"Talking about myself or Dominic, we can have these bad days where maybe you can say I'm going to play to the backhand of Dominic and get some chances.

"Well, not during this US Open or Australian Open. He's playing really some great tennis, backhand, forehand, slice. Everything is there.

"I tried to mix it up. I feel like I've done a lot of great things tonight, but just didn't get it until the end."

Medvedev added: "He had a little bit more energy tonight, maybe. Let's call it a winning energy. I think it was the feeling throughout all the match. That's why I was serving two times for the set.

"I didn't do anything wrong, but he was playing really good. He fought until the end. I also fought for it until the end.

"We can discuss for hours about this, maybe I should have played cross, down the line. But tennis is not only about this, and he was really good tonight."

During the first set Medvedev received a code violation for crossing the net to point out where the ball had landed after being deemed not to have challenged in time.

The Russian took his complaints to the match supervisor and was heard saying: "The US Open is a joke, right? What did I do to get a code? Ah, yeah, sorry, I think I killed someone, right? Sorry, I was so bad to cross the net. My sincere apologies to the US Open for crossing the net."

Asked about the incident in his post-match news conference, Medvedev said: "I was just really angry. Of course, there was no reason to talk to him.

"But what surprises me sometimes in tennis is, okay, the supervisor is always there in case, let's say, for example, a default. He steps up, calls a default. It's not the decision of an umpire.

"For example, talking about my code violation today, I mean, what did I do? Did I hurt someone? Did I say something rude? I didn't do anything. I get a code. I'm like, supervisor, do something. Why are you sitting here?

"I still don't know the answer to this question. Of course, there was no reason to get angry on this."

Medvedev said he planned to have a short rest before playing the Hamburg Open to prepare for another grand slam tilt at Roland Garros.

"Last clay season my best tournaments were the first ones. Here I'm only going to have two. Hopefully I can have some great results," he said.

Dominic Thiem joked that he will have to call former world number one Andy Murray if he loses a fourth grand slam final after reaching the US Open decider.

Thiem defeated last year's US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev 6-2 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-5) in Friday's semi-final as the second seed eyes an elusive major title.

The Austrian star has lost all three slam finals he has featured in – the 2020 Australian Open decider against Novak Djokovic and the 2019 and 2019 French Open showpieces to Rafael Nadal.

Murray was beaten in four major finals before breaking through for his maiden slam via the 2012 US Open and Thiem joked on court post-match: "If I win, I have my first [grand slam title]. If not, I have to slowly call Andy Murray to find out how it is with 0-4."

Pressed on those comments and whether he had ever spoken to three-time slam champion Murray about overcoming slam final defeats, Thiem told reporters: "I never talked to anyone. It was all good so far. But I was joking about it.

"It's easy for Andy because he has won three in the meantime. But that's not what I'm thinking about Sunday. I just going to go in fully focused, like in all the six previous matches. The world continues no matter what's result is, so it's going to be fine.

"Of course, I'm super happy that I gave myself another chance to be in the finals, pretty quick after Australia. Going to be a great one against a very good friend and a great rival."

Thiem – the first Austrian male to make the singles at the US Open – capitalised against a wasteful Medvedev, who failed to serve out the second and third sets on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

First-time slam finalist and fifth seed Alexander Zverev awaits Thiem at Flushing Meadows in New York – a rematch of the pair's entertaining Australian Open semi-final showdown earlier this year.

It provides a different challenge for Thiem, who has come up against all-time greats Djokovic and Nadal in his previous final appearances.

But Thiem insisted he "won't change his mindset at all", adding: "I know what Sascha is capable of. Also the last match we had in Australia, we were both really, really good. It was such a close match.

"I will go in like in the previous six matches. As I said, from the moment Novak was out of the tournament [default in the fourth round], it was clear that there's going to be a new grand slam champion. From that moment on, that was also out of my mind. I was just focusing on the remaining guys left in the draw.

"Now it's Sascha remaining, the last one, my opponent in the finals. I will fully focus on him and just go into that match like in the all other matches I was going in so far in this tournament.

"He's a hell of a player. One of the greatest ones in last years. Won all titles besides a major. He will also try everything what he's capable of doing to win the title. It's going to be a super difficult match. For me, it really doesn't matter whether it's him or one of the big three. I just try to go in there and give my best."

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