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Alexander Zverev the final hurdle in Dominic Thiem’s long road to glory | US Open Tennis 2020

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Alexander Zverev smiled weakly when reminded yet again that the last time a German won the US Open – Boris Becker, in 1989 – the Berlin Wall was still standing. But Zverev (whose parents played for the Soviet Union) also knows that if his wounded Austrian friend Dominic Thiem is similarly upright on Sunday, one of them will make tennis history.

Thiem hurt his leg when playing Daniil Medvedev on Friday evening and was unsure if it was adrenalin that had carried him through repeated crises to win in three sets that were much better than any of the five it took Zverev to beat Pablo Carreño Busta in the first semi-final. The resilient world No 3 has a day to recover but the injury will play on his mind.

Neither finalist has won a slam. They know Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (both absentees), as well as the world No 1, Novak Djokovic (thrown out after a meltdown in the fourth round), between them own 56 of the previous 67 slam titles, including the past 13. That’s a closed shop of which a British barrister would be proud.

Djokovic, who has won five of the previous seven majors, was the overwhelming favourite to win what would have been a fourth US Open title. The last interloper, 2014 champion Marin Cilic, could not get past Thiem in the third round. The 2012 champion, Andy Murray, beat Zverev in the Cincinnati Open three weeks ago but went out in the second round in New York. Now the tournament that might never have happened because of the pandemic will celebrate a new champion.

Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in last year’s final and could not beat the injured Thiem despite serving for the second and third sets with comfortable leads, said of the absent legends: “No matter which day you play them, it seems like they play the same level. Myself or Dominic, we can have these bad days. Dominic can have a day when he’s going to miss a lot of shots when he’s going to go for it. Today was not the case.

“He’s one of very few guys who is super close to the big three in terms of playing, first on a very high level, then second holding this level for however long the match takes. He played like a real champion.”

Alexander Zverev celebrates making it to the final.
Alexander Zverev celebrates making it to the final. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

But champions win big championships. Thiem has won plenty elsewhere but is yet to do so in three slam finals and he joked about the same challenge facing Murray when he took his fourth chance here eight years ago: “It’s easy for Andy because he has won three in the meantime.”

Zverev, meanwhile, cannot afford to dwell on Thiem’s injury. He has problems of his own, not least his dreadful start against Carreño Busta, who faded with victory in sight and the burden of having yet to win a major despite his widely celebrated talent.

“The two best players in the world are going to be on court,” he said. “From the moment Novak was out of the tournament, it was clear there was going to be a new grand slam champion. We played an epic in Australia [when Thiem won their semi-final in four sets].”

Thiem described Zverev as “one of the greatest in the past few years, won all titles [except] a major. He will try everything. But it really doesn’t matter whether it’s him or one of the big three. When we step on the court on Sunday, it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s huge for both of us. The most crucial point is the return of his serve. His first serve is one of the best – if not the best – out there. It’s so fast, so precise.”

Thiem has beaten the world No 1 three years in a row (Nadal in 2018, Djokovic in 2019 and Nadal this year) but not when it mattered most. “I learned a lot from every single match, win or lose. They are without a doubt the three greatest players who played the sport.”

Thiem, if fit, should win over four sets and put himself at the heart of a fresh discussion on greatness.

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KXIP vs DC: Dhawan’s historic hundred goes in vain as Kings XI Punjab outplay Delhi Capitals | Cricket News

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DUBAI: Shikhar Dhawan‘s historic hundred went in vain as Kings XI Punjab outplayed table leaders Delhi Capitals by five wickets for their third straight win to keep their play-off hopes alive in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.
Dhawan became the first batsman to hit back-to-back IPL hundreds with his unbeaten 106 off 61 balls being the sole bright spot in Delhi’s 164 for five.
Scorecard | Points Table
For a change, it ended up being a straightforward chase for KXIP despite a rare failure from their opening pair of KL Rahul (15) and Mayank Agarwal (5), who had done the bulk of the scoring for the team in the earlier games.
Nicholas Pooran (53 off 28) came up with another blinder of a knock and Glenn Maxwell (32 off 24) finally found some form to set up the win.

Jimmy Neesham (10 not out off 8) hit the winning six as KXIP got home in 19 overs.
With KXIP’s in-form top three gone cheaply, it was a stiff test for their shaky middle-order which came good on the night.
Rahul mishit one to mid-on while Agarwal got run out after a big mix-up with Pooran.
Gayle once again looked in ominous touch but departed soon after hammering Tushar Deshpande in his opening over that went for 26 runs. R Ashwin found the Jamaican’s stumps with a slider.
With KXIP at 63 for 3 inside the powerplay, it was left to Pooran and Maxwell to bail the team out.
Pooran eased the pressure with another display of clean hitting. His blitzkrieg propelled KXIP to 101 for three in the first 10 overs with only 64 to get from the last 60 balls.
The West Indian was not able to see the team through but Maxwell finally got some runs under his belt to take the team close to victory.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan’s sensational effort took Delhi Capitals to 164 for five after his team opted to bat. His memorable innings included 12 fours and three sixes.
It seemed he was batting on a different surface with the second highest score of the innings coming from skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, who made 14 each.
KXIP bowled well at the back end of the innings to restrict DC to below 180 with lead pacer Mohammed Shami (2/28) being the stand out performer.
Fresh off a hundred in the last game, Dhawan began by slog sweeping offie Glenn Maxwell in the opening over.
Shaw, who failed to get off the mark in the preview two games, perished cheaply once again, trying to smash Jimmy Neesham over extra cover when he was in no position to play that aerial stroke.
Iyer too did not last long after getting off the mark with a lofted cover drive that went for a six with Delhi reaching 83 for two in 10 overs.
At the other end, Dhawan grew in confidence and an example of that was the way he drove a full ball from Shami over mid-off.
The southpaw crossed the 5000-run mark in the IPL by sweeping leggie Ravi Bishnoi for a six over deep square-leg, becoming the fifth batsmen to do so in the tournament’s history.
He got to his century, another landmark, with a double off left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh.
However, he did not get the required support from the other end as Delhi ended with a below-par total.


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Shikhar Dhawan becomes first player to score consecutive centuries in IPL history | Cricket News

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DUBAI (UAE): Delhi Capitals‘ opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan on Tuesday became the first player to register consecutive centuries in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Dhawan achieved the feat as he brought up his century against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). In the match against KXIP, Dhawan smashed 12 fours and 3 sixes to bring up his century off just 57 balls.
“Back to back 100s for @SDhawan25. He is the first player to have consecutive centuries in IPL. Take a bow, Gabbar,” the official handle of IPL tweeted.

Along the course of this innings, Dhawan also completed 5000 runs in the IPL. As a result, Dhawan is now at the fourth position in IPL’s all-time leading run-scorer list.

Co-incidentally, Dhawan also completed 10 years in international cricket on Tuesday. Earlier, Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi won the toss and opted to bat first against KXIP.

Before this match, Dhawan had scored a century against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Saturday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
With this effort, Delhi Capitals had recorded a victory against CSK to go to the top of the points table.
Dhawan had a slow start to this IPL campaign as he failed to register big scores in the opening few matches of the tournament.
His first half-century this season came against Mumbai Indians in Delhi’s seventh match of IPL 2020.
After this effort, Dhawan recorded scores of 57 and 101 against Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings.
The left-handed Dhawan is currently in second place in the leading run-scorer list for this year’s IPL.



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Historic hundred from Shikhar Dhawan takes Delhi Capitals to 164/5

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Dubai: Shikhar Dhawan became the first batsman to score back-to-back hundreds in the IPL as his sensational effort took Delhi Capitals to 164 for five against Kings XI Punjab here. Dhawan cracked an unbeaten 106 off 61 balls which included 12 fours and three sixes.

It seemed he was batting on a different surface with the second highest score of the innings coming from skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, who made 14 each.

KXIP bowled well at the back end of the innings to restrict DC to below 180 with lead pacer Mohammed Shami (2/28) being the stand out performer.

Fresh off a hundred in the last game, Dhawan began by slog sweeping offie Glenn Maxwell in the opening over.

Shaw, who failed to get off the mark in the preview two games, perished cheaply once again, trying to smash Jimmy Neesham over extra cover when he was in no position to play that aerial stroke.

Iyer too did not last long after getting off the mark with a lofted cover drive that went for a six with Delhi reaching 83 for two in 10 overs.

At the other end, Dhawan grew in confidence and an example of that was the way he drove a full ball from Shami over mid-off.

The southpaw crossed the 5000-run mark in the IPL by sweeping leggie Ravi Bishnoi for a six over deep square-leg, becoming the fifth batsmen to do so in the tournament’s history.

He got to his century, another landmark, with a double off left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh.

However, he did not get the required support from the other end as Delhi ended with a below-par total.

Delhi made three changes by bringing back a fit again Pant and Shimron Hetmyer, who made way for wicketkeeper Alex Carey in the former’s absence.

Bowling all-rounder Daniel Sams was handed his debut cap with the Australian replacing in-form pacer Anrich Nortje.

KXIP surprisingly replaced Chris Jordan with Neesham after the Englishman had a decent outing in the previous game against Mumbai Indians.



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