© Darren Carroll/USTA

Dominic Thiem has lost just nine games in his past five sets at the US Open.

Thiem Powers Past De Minaur, Into First US Open SF

Austrian will play third seed Medvedev in blockbuster semi-final

In a classic match-up between power and speed on Wednesday evening in the US Open quarter-finals, power emerged with a resounding victory.

Second seed Dominic Thiem overwhelmed #NextGenATP star Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows for the first time. The 27-year-old is the first Austrian US Open semi-finalist in tournament history and he will play third seed Daniil Medvedev for a spot in the final.

"I had a great feeling from the first moment on, actually," Thiem said on court after his two-hour, four-minute victory. "It looks way easier on the scoresheet than it was."

Thiem previously reached the last eight in New York in 2018. After battling Rafael Nadal for four hours and 49 minutes in an all-time slugfest before falling short in a fifth-set tie-break, the disappointed Austrian said the match was, “going to be stuck in my mind forever".

The 16-time ATP Tour champion has no reason to be disappointed this time. Thiem’s big serving and heavy baseline game proved too much for the 21-year-old Aussie speedster, who simply couldn’t find a solution to make the World No. 3 uncomfortable for long enough stretches.

De Minaur is known for his blinding quickness, but he played an aggressive match. The Aussie tried returning Thiem’s serve inside the court and rushing the net to put pressure on the Austrian and push him back. It simply didn’t work. The 21st seed won 18 of his 28 net points, but was only able to win 49 per cent of points behind his first serve.

Both players took some time to gain rhythm in the early going, with four of the first six games resulting in service breaks. Thiem rallied from a 0/40 deficit to hold serve for 4-1 in the opening set and he settled in from there.

De Minaur pressed to try to gain some momentum, but lost serve twice in the second set by double faulting. It is rare that the Aussie gets frustrated, but he struggled finding a way to make an impact on Thiem’s game, or at least do something to reduce the Austrian’s level. He battled hard throughout the entire match, shouting, 'Come on!' whenever he won a good rally or hit an impressive winner.

That eventually paid off, when Thiem let slip his level for a short moment in the third set. The 27-year-old smacked a backhand into the net to lose serve at 3-2, giving De Minaur new life. The Aussie suddenly began showing the world his trademark speed and tenacity. But it proved too late, as he missed a backhand slice long at 4-4 to give back the break.

"Third set I lost a little bit the momentum, the energy and he came back great," Thiem said. "It was a crucial game at 3-4... broke him with a really game for 5-4 and then served out almost perfectly."

Thiem crushed his 43rd winner to close out his victory. He took a 2-0 ATP Head2Head series lead into their clash, but he was adamant beforehand that those meetings meant little since De Minaur was a teenager at the time. The Austrian showed that while the Aussie has improved, so has he.

The second seed has lost just nine games in his past five sets. He is a long way removed from only winning three games in an opening-round loss against Filip Krajinovic two weeks ago at the Western & Southern Open.

Nobody left in the draw has reached more Grand Slam finals than Thiem (3), but his next opponent, Medvedev, made the final in New York last year, losing against Nadal in five sets.

"There is no Roger, Rafa or Novak, but there is Daniil, Sascha and Pablo. They are three amazing players. Every single one of us deserves his first major title," Thiem said. "Everyone will give it all and that's what's on the mind. Once we step on the court, the other three are forgotten anyway."

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