NEW YORK (Reuters) – Second seed Dominic Thiem delivered a sublime performance to dismantle Australian Alex de Minaur 6-1 6-2 6-4 on Wednesday and canter into the semi-finals of the U.S. Open.
Thiem needed a little over two hours to record the win under the closed roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium despite being put under constant pressure by De Minaur, who is nicknamed ‘Demon’ and known for his never-say-die attitude and speedy court coverage.
De Minaur advanced to the net at every opportunity to disrupt Thiem’s baseline game and while the plan worked initially the 27-year-old Austrian adjusted and started finding winners past his advancing opponent.
De Minaur’s serve was vulnerable all night and Thiem, who amassed 43 winners, converted seven of his 13 breakpoint opportunities. De Minaur could take only two of the seven chances he had to break Thiem’s serve.
“I had a great feeling from the first moment on,” Thiem said during his on-court interview. “My feeling was that the first set, not until the second time I broke him, was really intense. Very long rallies.
“The second looks a lot easier than what it was on the scoresheet. The third set I lost a little bit of the momentum and energy and he came back great.”
Thiem, the highest surviving seed at Flushing Meadows, had beaten the Australian in their two previous encounters and started their third meeting on a brisk note, breaking De Minaur’s serve three consecutive times to win the opening set.
De Minaur started on a more positive note in the second, winning 11 straight points on serve to lead 40-0 in the fifth game with the score tied at 2-2.
However, Thiem fought his way back into the game and broke the Australian to lead 3-2, then won three straight games to take the set.
The Austrian’s early lead in the third set evaporated as De Minaur rallied to level things but a second break of serve sealed the match for Thiem.
“The match was going a bit flat from both of us,” Thiem added. “It’s not easy in an empty stadium and it being so late. We both got back the energy … and there was an amazing level where we both switched it on.
“But with two sets in my back pocket it was a little bit easier for me.”
Thiem will meet Russian Daniil Medvedev for a place in his fourth Grand Slam final.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Christian Schmollinger/Peter Rutherford)