Dominic Thiem made it to the quarter finals of the US Open for the second time in his career. The Austrian, who is in New York for the seventh time and was placed second this year, resolutely put aside the Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime: 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-1.
After the disqualification of Novak Djokovic on Flushing Meadows, Thiem is the most important candidate for the title. For years he has been regarded as one of the crown princes of world tennis, but so far he has not succeeded in knocking Federer, Nadal and Djokovic from the throne. However, three lost grand slam finals – two in Paris against Nadal (2018 and 2019) and one early this year in Melbourne against Djokovic – show that he is on the threshold.
Thiem has nothing to fear from the ‘Big Three’ in New York: Federer (injured) and Nadal (didn’t want to travel because of the corona crisis) had already cancelled the US Open in advance, while Djokovic disappeared from the stage due to a disqualification
Considering his play against Auger-Aliassime, Thiem is also well aware that the first big prize in his career is up for grabs. From the first to the last game he was in charge. Initially Auger-Aliassime stayed on, but was then blown away by Thiem, who finished the job in two hours.
In the next round, Thiem awaits the confrontation with Alex de Minaur, who beat Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-2. That duel was easier for De Minaur than expected.
Although Pospisil is 66 places lower than the Minaur in the world rankings, with victories against top twenty players Milos Raonic and Roberto Bautista, Pospisil had shown to be in great shape at the moment.
Also against De Minaur, Pospisil started well, but after missing four set points in the tiebreak of the first set, his level of play dropped considerably. De Minaur, who never got past the fourth round of a grand slam tournament before, was a lot more decisive and didn’t get into trouble after the first set.