In just one match, against Cilic in the third round, the Austrian had to play more than three sets. Get to definition with much less wear and tear.
There will be a new Grand Slam champion and a unique streak in tennis history ends.
Dominic Thiem faces his fourth chance to win his first Grand Slam tournament, although unlike the previous ones, he arrives as a favorite in the duel he will hold this Sunday against Alexander Zverev, against whom he has an advantage for the career forged up to here, for the history between the two but also for the path to the final of the US Open 2020, which the Austrian solved with more simplicity than the German.
With 27 years, 16 titles and his best historical position in the ATP ranking (3), Dominic Thiem will in turn have to bear the pressure of being the candidate in a Grand Slam final.
In 2018 and 2019 he fell at Roland Garros against Rafael Nadal (he could only win one set in both games), and at the beginning of 2020 he was defeated by Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, where he did put the world number one in trouble, who it took five sets to win.
Too the record against Zverev puts him in both an advantageous position and a higher pressure, because he leads by seven to two the personal duels against a German who plays his first final of a major and, at 23 years old, a priori has less to lose.
Also, Thiem had less attrition than the German in the transit to the final of the US Open, since in none of the six preceding games did he need to spend more than three hours in court, and his average playing time reaches two hours and fifteen minutes; Zverev’s, on the other hand, is 2:54.
In his debut against Jaume Munar (106), the Austrian was on track to win by winning 7-6 (6) and 6-3 in the first two sets and before the start of the third, when one hour and 55 minutes into the game, the Spanish announced his retirement due to physical problems.
Also in less than two hours (1:58) he resolved the duel against the Indian Sumit Nagal (124), the first tennis player from his country to reach the second round of a Grand Slam tournament since 2013 but who he could do little against Thiem, who beat him 6-3, 6-3 and 6-2.
A fierce rival came before him in the third round, Croatian Marin Cilic (38 in the ranking), former top ten and winner of the US Open in 2014. In fact, It was the only match in which he lost a set, as he won 6-2, 6-2, 3-6 and 6-2 after two hours and 27 minutes of tennis. “I’m not 100 percent yet. I still have to raise my level if I want to go further in the tournament. Usually I am able to do this in the Slams and hopefully here too, “said Thiem.
Cilic had been the first great stumbling block for the Austrian, who also came from falling in his presentation at the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati against Serbian Filip Krajinovic, in a disappointing second-round performance in which he lost 6-2 and 6-1.
The first game of the second week was against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime (15), who won easily 7-6 (4), 6-1 and 6-1, to reach the US Open quarterfinals for the second time in three years.
The duel had no more history than the first set, when the 20-year-old Canadian maintained his aggressive tennis without making many unforced errors. But the fall in the tie-break left him without the ability to react before the most complete and dominant repertoire of Thiem, who from the bottom gave a chair to one of the promises of world tennis.
Another young man, Australian Alex De Miñaur (21), was beaten by Thiem in the quarterfinals, and with the 6-1, 6-2 and 6-4 achieved in two hours and four minutes He was reaching the semi-final at Flushing Meadows for the first time in his seven appearances.
The Austrian was intractable with the aggressive base tennis that he has perfected with his coach, the Chilean Nicolás Massú, without De Miñaur, 21, who was playing the first quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time, had the option of maintaining long exchanges of blows.
The European finished with 43 winners for 31 unforced errors, while the Oceanic added 17 winners against 25 errors.
It was logical that the most demanding match was the semifinal, due to the instance and because in front was the Russian Daniil Medvedev (3), since in the lower part of the table there were no surprises as happened in the other, with the disqualification of the Serbian Novak Djokovic, the number one and top seed, in the round of 16.
In a low-flying game, Thiem won 6-2, 7-6 (7) and 7-6 (5) after two hours and 55 minutes of action at Arthur Ashe Center Court in Flushing Meadows, where the Austrian tennis player finished with 22 winners against 33 unforced errors, in addition to having achieved four service breaks against two of the Russian.