Alexander Zverev fought back the tears as he delivered his runner-up speech after losing an epic US Open final to Dominic Thiem.
Zverev, 23, led by two sets to love and served for the match in a dramatic fifth set but was beaten in a tiebreak by the second seed from Austria.
Thiem, 27, became the first player in the Open Era to win the US Open final when two sets down and it was a painful 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) defeat for Zverev.
It had been an emotional few weeks for the world No. 7.
His parents tested positive for coronavirus and were therefore unable to travel with him to the States and he broke down in tears when referencing their absence in his speech.
‘I don’t know where to start,’ said Zverev. ‘I want to congratulate Dominic on the first of many Grand Slam titles, I think. This is not the only one.’
‘It was a tough battle. I wish you would have missed a little bit more so I could have held that trophy up.
‘Here I am giving the runners-up speech. I want to thank my team, the last two or three years haven’t been easy in my tennis career. We are going to lift that trophy up together.
‘I mean there’s some special people missing in the crowd today. I want to thank my parents… sorry,’ he added, pausing to fight back the tears. ‘There were always with me in every tournament I go to.
‘Unfortunately, my mum and dad tested positive for coronavirus before the tournament and they couldn’t have gone with me and I miss them… Man, this is tough.
‘I’m sure they’re sitting at home even though I lost they’re pretty proud. I wish one day I can bring the trophy home.’
Champion Thiem said: ‘I wish we could have two winners today. I think we both deserve it.
‘I remember when we played Madrid together in the finals, you told me I’m going to make it, I’m going to win this title and I tell you the same now here. You’re going to make it 100%.
‘You’re going to make your parents proud, your family proud who are at home. You’re great and you deserve it and you’ll definitely bring it home one day.’
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