In another surprising turn of events, instead of a rematch of the recent Toronto contest between Feliciano Lopez and Tomas Berdych, it will be Austrian youngster Dominic Thiem who will contest a fourth round battle against the Czech No. 1. This will mark the first time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour and should make for some compelling television viewing.
Sixth seed Tomas Berdych cruised into the fourth round of the US Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Russia’s Teymuraz Gabashvili. The 2012 semi-finalist will next face Dominic Thiem, whom he expects to be a stern challenge.
“These days is more common you going to play a guy you never play before,” said Berdych. Younger guys coming up, there is much more of them than I would say in the past two, three years when the time was pretty calm and we were playing just really all against each other but not any new faces. But the time is a bit different.
“I mean, it’s nice to play him. It’s a young kid. It’s a good challenge to me. I’m looking forward for that match.”
Following his grueling five-set comeback victory against Ernests Gulbis, Dominic Thiem managed another upset victory, this time over 19th seed Feliciano Lopez. The Austrian, who is contesting his first US Open, won 80% of his first service points and converted on 6 break point opportunities to defeat Lopez 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 in 1 hour and 48 minutes.
“It’s my first ever US Open,” said Thiem. “It’s a special tournament, all the night matches, and I’m very happy to reach the Round of 16 here for the first time.”
This marks the first time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour and is a surprisingly difficult match to predict. Berdych has been a shadow of his former self this summer, while Thiem is witnessing a remarkable career surge this fortnight. While his previous two upsets were extraordinary, Thiem will need to play his best to get past Berdych.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Five Sets