Losing men’s finalist Alexander Zverev revealed his parents were unable to travel to the US Open after both tested positive for Covid-19
Zverev missed out on a maiden Grand Slam after agonisingly throwing away a two-set lead to Austrian Dominic Thiem.
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The 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 triumph handed Thiem a first Grand Slam after three defeats in finals, while for 23-year-old Zverev it was his first major final.
Men's tennis finally has new Grand Slam champion in Dominic Thiem
Fighting back the tears, Zverev admitted it was “tough” to play at Flushing Meadows without his parents watching him in person.
"[My parents] were there with me for every tournament," he said. "But my dad and mother tested positive before the tournament and couldn't have gone with me. I miss them. This is tough."
Afterwards, Zverev – who was a break up in the fifth but failed to serve out for the championship - told reporters his parents were now negative for coronavirus.
"They're fine," he added. "They're actually negative already. That's the reason they didn't come here. But, yeah, I mean, look, losing 7-6 in the fifth after being two sets to love and a break up is not easy.
"At the speech, I mean, I got emotional. I couldn't put two words together. I don't actually remember what I said. It was a difficult moment for me."
Thiem: I wish there were two winners
Thiem cut an exhausted figure after he came through having himself failed to serve out for the tournament prior to the tie-break, but this could represent a turning point in his career now that he has finally broken his Grand Slam duck.
"I wish there were two winners today, we both deserved it," Thiem said on court.
"I'd also like to start with you, Sascha. We started to know each other in 2014 when we were both ranked 100th or something and straight away we developed a great friendship.
"It is amazing how far our journey brought us. Then in 2016, I think, our great rivalry started again and we made great things happen on and off the court."