Rafael Nadal said Dominic Thiem deserved to win the US Open title in New York.
Thiem claimed his maiden major title with a dramatic five-set victory over Alexander Zverev in the final at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.
The Austrian finally broke through after losing three grand slam finals, including two to Nadal at the French Open.
Nadal praised Thiem for his success, which came with the Spaniard and Roger Federer not in the draw and with Novak Djokovic having defaulted in the fourth round.
“I’m happy for Dominic. If somebody deserved to win a big title it’s him,” he said.
“A super hard worker, very focused on his goals, a good person, a good human being. He deserved it.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 14, 2020
“Sorry to Sascha [Zverev], he was close but in some ways I think even though Sascha played a great final, I think the road to the final from Dominic had been a little bit more solid.
“So in some ways he deserved the title and Sascha will have more chances in the future. But after a lot of years of hard work, I think Dominic deserved it. I’m happy for him.”
Nadal is set to face Pablo Carreno Busta at the Internazionali d’Italia in his first match since the ATP Tour season resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.