Medvedev, Thiem set up US Open semis clash
Written by Taiwo Adediran on September 10, 2020
Last year’s US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev saw off fellow Russian Andrey Rublev in straight sets to reach the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.
He won 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to set up a meeting with Austrian second seed Dominic Thiem.
The 24-year-old third seed is yet to drop a set in New York this year.
“It was a very tactical game and I am very happy to go through,” he said.
A tense opening set was briefly interrupted by a power outage and play was suspended with Rublev leading 6-5.
Rublev then had a 5-1 advantage in the tie-break, but was unable to close out and smashed his racket on the court as he conceded the first set.
Medvedev broke to make it 4-2 in the second and frustration continued to creep into his opponent’s game, with Rublev issued with a code violation for verbal abuse as he went 5-2 behind.
At two sets up, Medvedev was looking comfortable but the 24-year-old began to show signs of cramp and twice needed treatment.
He still looked to be struggling slightly in the tie-break but was able to close out as a Rublev backhand dropped wide at match point.
“It is maybe the first time in almost a year that I actually celebrated my win,” he said.
“Because I felt like I could get in trouble, one point decided two sets. Andrey was playing unbelievable, so I am really happy with my win.”
Thiem, 27, booked his place in the US Open last four for the first time with a comprehensive 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory over Australian Alex de Minaur in just over two hours.
With Swiss great Roger Federer and Spanish world number two Nadal not competing at Flushing Meadows, and Novak Djokovic – the other member of the ‘big three’ – disqualified, Medvedev and Thiem will join a semi-final line-up without a Grand Slam title between them.
There will be a first new winner of a men’s Slam since Marin Cilic won the US Open in 2014.
“I guess it’s somewhere in the back of the heads of all four remaining players,” said Thiem, a three-time Grand Slam finalist.
“There may not be Novak, Roger and Rafa but there is Daniil, Sascha [Zverev] and Pablo [Carrena Busta].
“They are three amazing players and every one of us deserves this first title. We will give it our all. Once we step on the court we will forget about the other three.”
Fifth seed Alexander Zverev battled past Borna Coric 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 to set up the other semifinal tie against Pablo Carreno-Busta who also battled past 12th seed, Denis Shapovalov 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) 0-6 6-3 in a match that lasted more than four hours.