The sixth seed, Dominic Thiem played his second round match of the US Open against a local promise, Taylor Fritz who came from winning his first match at a Grand Slam after defeating Marcos Baghdatis in the first round. The American sought to upset the sixth seed and join the list of teenagers who have scored big wins against top seeds in the last days. Despite winning the third set and having set points to force a fifth set, the American wasn’t able to complete the surprise as Dominic Thiem stayed calm and book his spot in the third round with a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Taylor Fritz in two hours and 49 minutes.
The Austrian is seeking to advance beyond the fourth round in any major except for the French Open. In the next round, he will face the 30th seed, Adrian Mannarino.
Thiem struggles to close the opening set
Nerves did not show as Thiem immediately put pressure on his opponent’s serve, however, the American resisted and went on to save three break points. A return winner from the Austrian claimed the break on his fourth chance to lead 2-1. After an exchange of holds, it was Fritz who threatened to retrieve the break as the sixth seed hit a double fault to hand him a second break point, but Thiem's groundstrokes held firm as he managed to hold and keep the lead.
The set remained on serve, with both players unwilling to give in and the American looking for the perfect moment to get back to the set. While serving for the set, it seemed like Fritz was on his way to pull a comeback as he held two break points, but the Austrian’s experience helped him to dodge the break. To the frustration of the American, Thiem fired up an inside out forehand winner to seal the opening set.
Solid Thiem gets a 2-0 lead over Fritz
An outstanding Thiem embraced the mistakes of the American who failed to close the game as he converted break point with a thunderous return winner to cruise to an early break. The Austrian struggled to consolidate the break as he faced a break point, but his powerful groundstrokes saved him one more time as he breezed into a 2-0 lead. The American then was benefitted by an erratic game from the sixth seed to get a comfortable hold to love. Struggling with mistakes, Thiem was once again down, facing two break points but a series of unforced errors saved the Austrian who still led the set.
Serving 2-4, Fritz needed to hold his serve and avoid extending Thiem’s advantage. Despite having a break point against him, the American remained calm and held. Both players kept their serves for four more games before the Austrian had to serve for the second set. Unlike the first set, Thiem didn’t struggle to close the set as he pounded his fourth ace of the match.
Fritz forces a fourth set
In the third set, Thiem battled to find a way to get a break from his opponent as Fritz reduced his unforced errors. This time it seemed like the American would be the one to grab the early lead as he found himself with the opportunity to break Thiem for the first time in the match. However, the Austrian known for his powerful groundstrokes hit a powerful first serve to later save the break point with a cross-court forehand. Thiem took advantage of Fritz’s mistakes to survive the game and equalize to 2-2.
For the rest of the set, both players clung to their serves and the fate of the set seemed unknown until Fritz finally took his chance. While serving to get it to five-all, Thiem saw his serve and the set threatened by the American who managed to get two set points, both of which the Austrian saved. However, Thiem hit a forehand that went beyond the baseline on set point to finally give the break and the set to the American.
Thiem through the next round after Fritz wastes set points
Fritz carried the momentum into the fourth set as he comfortably held to love. The Austrian who had been playing stunning tennis started this set with a series of unforced errors that forced him to save another break point. Luckily for Thiem, he had saved 92 percent of break points this match and once again, he played his best tennis at the important moments to save the break point to tie the score to one-all.
But the American wasn’t willing to yield his serve as he only yielded one point against in his next two service games. Thiem matched the stunning display of tennis from the American to get a hold to love and put the scoreboard at 3-3. Things began to improve for Thiem as he scored the first break of the set after a smash from Fritz that went beyond the line. But the Austrian’s lead wouldn’t last long as Fritz broke right away after a long forehand from the sixth seed.
From this moment, the fourth set turned into a more competitive match as both players battled to keep their serves. Fritz had to save one break point to go up 5-4, and then on Thiem’s serve, the American had three set points to push this to a fifth and last set.
But once again, Thiem’s experience helped him overcome a stressful situation. After holding several chances to close the set, Fritz struggled to get back into the game as he did hit a streak of mistakes to yield his serve. Serving for the match, Thiem was aided by Fritz's errors and soon got two match points. The sixth seed pounded a big serve that Fritz was not able to put back on court to confirm the victory of the Austrian.