US Open 2020 champion Dominic Thiem has revealed he dedicated his whole life to winning his maiden Grand Slam title.
The Austrian second seed fought back from two sets down to beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final.
Thiem, 27, overcame a nervous start – and being unable to serve out victory in a tense deciding set – to win 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) in New York.
“I achieved a life goal, a dream of myself, which I had for many, many years,” the world number three said.
“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 a huge amount of what they did for me.”
Thiem also made history by becoming the first man born in the 1990s to win a Grand Slam singles title.
However, this year’s US Open was unusual as several top seeds opted out of the tournament over coronavirus fears.
While six top women’s seeds opted out, only 2019 champion Rafael Nadal of Spain, injured Swiss great Roger Federer and France’s Gael Monfils were missing from the men’s top 10.
FrujuSports had reported that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the tournament after striking a line judge.
Thiem, who had previously lost the 2018 and 2019 French Open finals to Nadal and Djokovic respectively, blamed his nervous start in the final on the pressure of going into the match labelled as the favourite.
“We both didn’t face one of the ‘big three’, so I guess that was in the back of the head for both of us,” said. the Austrian.
“That’s why we were nervous. It was a very good chance for the both of us.”
He said he thought that now he had one Grand Slam title it would be easier for him to chase more success at the highest level.
“Because, of course, 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,” he added.
“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.”
His next opportunity for another Grand Slam title is the French Open which has been scheduled to hold on September 27.