US Open: Dominic Thiem overcomes slow start to progress into the second week

Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem advanced to the second week at the US Open with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win over Frenchman 30th seed Adrian Mannarino. He will now face Juan Martin del Potro, a player he retired against in last year's tournament.  

Dominic Thiem grabs first set after slow start

The Frenchman got off to a blistering start on the Louis Armstrong Court. With three break points come and gone, Mannarino then hit a quality forehand return which was met with an unforced error as he broke for 0-1. The form player in the past couple months Mannarino consolidated the break to lead 0-2 early on. 

The Austrian was struggling to match the fast start made by his opposition but managed to get on the board in the third game, 1-2. In the very next game, the sixth seed attempted to break the 29-year-old's serve by taking him to deuce but could find no answers as the Frenchman held, 3-1 to keep his break in tact. 

Dominic Thiem lines up a backhand shot (Photo: Tim Clayton/Getty Images)
Dominic Thiem lines up a backhand shot (Photo: Tim Clayton/Getty Images)

For the next couple of games, both players continued to play high-quality tennis, treating the crowd to a spectacle but it was the 30th seed who was still in front, 4-5 as the set neared its conclusion. The Austrian then found a way back into the match with a break back point at 30-40. Mannarino then found himself on the net but sent a volley just wide to get broken and fall behind for the first time, 6-5.

The 23-year-old continued to cause the Frenchman late trouble and even gained a break/set point with an exquisite backhand passing shot down the line. The Frenchman then sent a forehand long with the first set going to Thiem 7-5. 

Thiem takes a two-set lead

Thiem continued his late form in the early parts of the second set by holding and then breaking with a heavy drive return from his forehand side. He consolidated the break to go 3-0 up and win seven games dating back to the first set. 

The Frenchman hobbled to the chair but didn't seem to be an issue as he got on board in the fourth game, 3-1. But he was still causing the Austrian some problems and earned two break points with a forehand passing shot winner, a shot that would be used more and more as the match grew older. 

Dominic Thiem in between points (Phott: Tim Clayton/Getty Images)
Dominic Thiem in between points (Photo: Tim Clayton/Getty Images)

Thiem impressively denied the Frenchman any chance of luring his way back into the match, going on to hold to stay ahead 4-1. The next three games went with the server and with Thiem ahead in the set, he was then left to serve for the match at 5-3. 

The sixth seed raced away to a love-40 lead, earning triple match points. And at the first time of asking, he put away the shot and finished off the set to take a two-set lead, 6-3.

Thiem finishes off Mannarino

At the start of the third, Thiem made sure that any chances of a Mannarino comeback were shunned as he immediately broke. He was forced to save three break back points from the Frenchman including hitting a tweener and a backhand winner to save one of the breaks and hold for 2-0.

Mannarino then held serve in the third game. The Austrian also held his serve before applying, even more, pressure on Mannarino. All square at 30-all, Thiem went with the dropshot, which paid off as a break point arrived. 

Adrian Mannarino congratulates Dominc Thiem on his win (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)
Adrian Mannarino congratulates Dominc Thiem on his win (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

But the world number 34 denied the sixth seed with a backhand winner before going on to hold, 3-2. Thiem would also hold his serve, hitting a wonderful backhand passing shot winner. Both players held their next service games, leaving the Frenchman serving to stay in the match at 5-3. 

However, he was forced to deny Thiem a match point to then hold and give his opponent the chance of serving it out. The 23-year-old would miss a match point as well as saving a break point before eventually finishing off the match on his third match point with a volley winner.