A score does not always reflect the quality of the match. It’s a good summary of this second semi-final of the US Open. Dominic Thiem won’t complain. The Austrian qualified on the night of Friday to Saturday for his fourth Grand Slam final after a methodical victory against Daniil Medvedev, outgoing finalist and impressive ease throughout the fortnight.
Winner in three sets (6-2, 7-6, 7-6), Thiem made a logical winner of this beautiful match. We will remember the way he physically cooked the Russian. On Sunday, he will play his first final at Flushing Meadows against an old acquaintance: Alexander Zverev, who came back from a handicap of two sets to nothing against him against Pablo Carreno Busta in the first half. Thiem-Zverev, we’ve known the song for all these years. The two men had already met in the semifinals of the last Australian Open. And Thiem had gained the upper hand in four sets, before losing the final against Novak Djokovic. He will try his luck for the second time this season on the cement court of the Arthur-Ashe Stadium.
Thiem has been clinical
The Austrian did not go it alone in this duel. Far from there. But he went for the victory by being better in the important moments. Still as powerful in the exchanges, the seeded n ° 2 of the tournament played his destructive tennis throughout the three sets. With the many risks that this entailed in terms of faults. This plan allowed him to get the first set easily, then to come back in the game in the other two sets where he had conceded the break in his first service games (0-0 in the second set, and 0 -1 in the 3rd).
Even while chasing the score, Thiem found a solution to all his problems. The other parameter of his victory was the physical. Much cooler than Medvedev despite the energy riot, Thiem handled his efforts to bite at the right time very well. The duration of the match, of almost 3h00 (2h55) says a lot about the fierce fight that there was. A deceptive score, for a success to wear. Thiem also used a technical panoply much broader than his profile of hitter would suggest. Very good with his backhand slice to fix his rival, the right-hander showed tactical intelligence throughout the three sets. Attack, defense: Thiem did almost everything right.
Medvedev may have regrets
The Russian, heroic finalist last year against Rafael Nadal, fought very well, but can blame himself for being temporarily out of his first set, at 3-2, due to a challenge that He was initially denied, before Thiem asked the referee to grant it.
The result proved right for the Russian, who apologized to the Austrian, but he did not regain his composure, expressing his sarcasm towards the supervisor. This benefited Thiem, who went on to win eight of the next nine points to escape and take off the sleeve.
The next two sets were very close, the two players offering at times high level exchanges, and decided on the decisive games. During the first, the Austrian batter had to save a set point, before managing to conclude on yet another forehand drumstick.
The second tie-break, which came after Thiem managed to break free to tie it at 5-5, saw Medvedev crack down with unforced errors at the worst possible time. The Austrian, who received treatment for his right ankle in the third set, could exult: he will play his first US Open final on Sunday against Zverev, whom he had stopped in the semi-final in Melbourne at the end of January.