On court 9 of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Greek track didn’t seem quite right in the first set, but was then more than equal to the 31-year-old German, who once once camped in place 29 of the world ranking. During large parts of the race, the public around this back track could not see that the Dutchman has never been in the top hundred.

Except maybe at the end of the third set. Greek track had played excellent and economical for a long time, until he had to serve at a 5-4 deficit. In that game, at 30-30, a double foul turned out to be very bad, after which he hit the ball on set point for Struff on a forehand on his frame and hit far outside the lines. The set was gone for Greek track and he hit a ball hard out of anger and disappointment. That got him on an official warning from the umpire.

But after that unpleasant moment, Greek track recovered very well. He served again well, came to 4-4 and then confidently broke the service Struff for the first time, after which he was able to take the fourth set with a strong service game.

Left foot no hindrance

In the fifth and decisive series, after three games (at 2-1 for Struff) Greek track had his left foot treated, but that didn’t seem to be a serious problem. He won his subsequent service games with conviction.

The seventh game of the fifth set was blood-curdling. Greek track missed an easy volley, but thanks to two double errors by his opponent, he also got two breakpoints, which he was unable to use. Finally, Struff took the game with an ace, followed by a loud cry: 4-3. But Greek track responded with excellent service games and so the score jumped from 4-4 to 5-5. At that moment, the Dutchman managed to place the decisive break, after which a sublime service game after 3 hours and 38 minutes led to his first grand slam victory.

All this after Greek Rail was in uncertainty about his visa for weeks and thought a week ago that he would not be able to travel to America. Now he will soon face Novak Djokovic in the largest tennis stadium in the world (most likely) and he already has about one hundred thousand euros in prize money.

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