Dominic Thiem became the first man in 71 years to win the US Open after dropping the first two sets of the final.
Thiem earned his first grand slam title with a 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) comeback victory against Alexander Zverev.
The US Open had never been decided by a fifth-set tiebreaker before.
Pancho Gonzalez made a similar turnaround against Ted Schroeder in 1949 to win the event, then known as the US Championships.
The 27-year-old Thiem entered Sunday’s final with a 0-3 career record in major title matches.
Thiem, the No.2 seed and world No.3, became the first Austrian to claim a singles title at Flushing Meadows, albeit in unique circumstances as no fans were present at the hardcourt major due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The champion, who is great friends with the German, paid tribute to his opponent.
“We made great things happen on the court, as well off the court. It’s amazing how far our journey brought us to share this moment. Really I wish we could have two winners. We both deserve it,” he said.
“I remember you told me, ‘You’re going to make it’. I’ll tell you the same thing. You’re going to make it and you’ll definitely bring it home one day.”
This was fifth-seed Zverev’s debut in a grand slam final and he broke down in tears during the post-match ceremony, while talking about his parents, who are also his coaches.
“There’s some special people missing from the crowd today. I want to thank my parents. They’re always with me. Unfortunately my mum and dad tested positive for COVID before the tournament and they couldn’t be with me,” said Zverev.
“I miss them. Man this is tough. I’m sure even though I lost they’re pretty proud and I wish one day I can bring this trophy home.”