Dominic Thiem secured his place in the US Open final with a hard-fought straight-sets victory over Daniil Medvedev.
The Austrian was given a very tough encounter by the third seed, who was defeated by Rafael Nadal in last year's final at Flushing Meadows, and each set was a battle in the 6-2, 7-6(7), 7-6(5) win.
Thiem stamped his authority on proceedings early on and took the opening set 6-2, but really struggled to overcome the Russian and it took two tie-breaks to wrap it up.
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For the second seed, the scoreline gives the suggestion of an easier win than it was as he was forced to battle back from deficits in the second and third sets.
Thiem was forced to have a physio examine his ankle before the third set and he slipped and fell twice in the match, but still managed to grind through the breakers 9-7 and 7-5 respectively.
"I played my best tennis then towards the end of the sets," said Thiem. "Both tie-breaks were amazing. Tie-breaks are mentally a tough thing. I don't like them at all to be honest.
"I'm really happy to be through. It was a great semi-final."
Daniil Medvedev of Russia and Dominic Thiem of Austria tap rackets at centercourt after Thiem won their Men's Singles semifinal match on Day Twelve of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Image credit: Getty Images
Ultimately, Thiem had enough class and determination to come through the challenge in humid conditions in New York to set up a showpiece clash with Alexander Zverev on Sunday.
"We have such a great friendship and rivalry," Thiem said ahead of his first final against the 23-year-old. "It is really amazing that we face each other in a Slam final."
The 27-year-old has had Zverev's number in a lopsided head-to-head over the years and he will be desperate to win his first Grand Slam having reached three finals.
Thiem has so far come up short in the last two finals at Roland Garros and at the Australian Open at the start of the year. He will be looking to finally put that right at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.
"It is all or nothing," added the Austrian. "If I win I have my first slam. If not, I have to call Andy Murray and ask how it is with 0-4."