Closing out the quarter-finals of the US Open will be the matchup between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium. It will be their 11th meeting overall with Nadal edging it 7-3 currently, the last meeting happening in the French Open final that Nadal won in straight sets.
After toughing out wins against a pair of Americans in Steve Johnson and Taylor Fritz, Thiem would have been anticipating a more difficult match against last year’s losing finalist Kevin Anderson. However, he put in a great performance to see off the South African in straight sets without dropping serve. He lost just 4 points on first serve in the 7-5 6-2 7-6 win. “I didn’t face one break point, and I didn’t feel so much pressure on service games. So it was a little bit easier to play the return games. I could change my return position, and this helped me a lot. And also the court, I think, made a big difference. It’s a huge court. I could go very far back like I do on clay usually.” he said on the win.
Nadal was taken to four sets once again but his win over Nikoloz Basilashvili was not as dramatic as the Karen Khachanov match that preceded it. He lost a third set tiebreak but never looked in a great deal of danger, securing the decisive break at 3-all to ensure the match did not get messy for him. “It was difficult the other day. Today was an advantage on the score all the time.” he said, suggesting he was never too concerned about the match for the most part.
“He’s a fantastic player. He’s a very powerful player. He’s a great guy. Yeah, in some way he deserve to be where he is. Gonna be a tough one. He’s very powerful player, and, yeah, he knows how to play these kind of matches.” Nadal said on his opponent. Thiem is a proven commodity on clay but has struggled to make his breakthroughs elsewhere with this being his first non-French Open quarter final.
“I think that I have very powerful ground strokes, and I can even hurt him with them. But the key is to play really fast and powerful. But on the same time, not make too many mistakes.” Thiem said on what he can do to defeat Nadal. It has proved to be a risky tactic in the past with the Austrian also suffering heavy losses in addition to his three wins.
Prediction – Rafael Nadal in four sets