As the match moved deep into the fifth set, it became more about mental fortitude than technical skill. Zverev fought through nerves by moving forward and was rewarded by breaking Thiem at 4-3 with an aggressive forehand.
"I thank Flamengo. They did everything to make me stay, but they understood me. I'm 35 years old, my career is ending and this is almost certainly going to be my last contract."
However, in a reversal of fortunes from the previous getaway, this time Hamilton got the better start and jumped Bottas to take the lead.
"We started to know each other back in 2014 and straight away started to develop a great friendship and then a great rivalry," Thiem said of his close friend Zverev. "We've made great things happen on the court and off the court. It's amazing how far our journey brought us to share this moment. I wish we could have two winners today. We both deserved it."
Messi last week said he'd stay, but made it clear he was unhappy with both club President, Jose Maria Bartomeu, and the failure to develop a balanced squad and he could be an awkward dressing room presence for the new coach.
Despite having the majority of the ball, Zall failed to make an impact as Cote d'Ivoire striker Jean Evrard Kouassi and Dong both squandered chances to level the game.
He returned to Fortaleza almost immediately, leading the side to ninth in the 20-team Serie A standings in 2019. They are 10th in the current table, only eight points behind leaders Internacional, more than a quarter of the way through the season.
A fully fit Eden Hazard will offer creativity and goals to a side that at time struggled to find the back of the net, while Zidane will also look for continued development from youngsters Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Fede Valverde and, even without transfer activity, Real look to have a well-balanced, young and deep squad.
West Ham United need to progress under coach David Moyes, but could be in for another difficult season, while few will be betting on newcomers Fulham and West Brom to be far from a relegation struggle that given the differences between the bottom six and the top six or seven sides, will probably be decided by results between direct rivals. Enditem
In the opening men's doubles, Zheng Siwei/Wang Yilv crushed Li Junhui/Ren Xiangyu 11-7, 11-6, 11-6 in just 21 minutes to gain the first point for Qingdao.
After the restart, Leipzig retreated with the narrow lead while Nuremberg showed absolutely no danger in front of the target.