The German Zverev looked headed for certain defeat after committing 36 errors through the first two sets but used his versatile game to pick himself up and looked like a completely different player the rest of the way
German fifth seed Alexander Zverev overcame a listless start to secure a thrilling 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-3 US Open semi-final win over Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta on a poignant Friday in New York to reach his first Grand Slam final.
Organisers had commemorated the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks before the semi-final with Broadway singer Christopher Jackson performing a trio of songs in front of a display for Black Lives Matter inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The German looked headed for certain defeat after committing 36 errors through the first two sets but used his versatile game to pick himself up and looked like a completely different player the rest of the way.
"I knew that I had to come up with better tennis and I knew that I had to be more stable ... but I am through to my first Grand Slam final and that's all that matters," said Zverev.
After Zverev levelled the match at two sets apiece Carreno Busta took a medical timeout to have his back tended to and the German, with a sudden swagger in his step, got the break he needed in the first game before cruising home.
Carreno Busta was locked in early as he held at love to open the match, turned aside a break point on his next service game, and broke twice for a 5-1 lead before securing the first set.
Things kept going the Spaniard's way in the second as he pushed Zverev's back to the wall with three consecutive breaks for a 5-0 lead during a lopsided set in which the mishitting German made 22 unforced errors.
But Zverev suddenly looked the more confident of the two as he broke Carreno Busta four times over the next two sets while leaning on his serve to put the pressure on the Spaniard.
Zverev, who is bidding to become the first German men's Grand Slam champion since Boris Becker won the 1996 Australian Open, will face second seed Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final.