US Open quarterfinal preview: Alex de Minaur vs Dominic Thiem
Photo: Al Bello

Alex De Minaur and Dominic Thiem clash in the US Open quarterfinals under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

The 21st-seeded Aussie had a comfortable first two rounds before upsetting 11th seed Karen Khachanov in five sets in the third round. A straight sets win over Vasek Pospisil in the Round of 16 sent de Minaur into his maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Thiem also had two relatively easy matches to start out with, Jaume Munar retiring after losing the first two sets of their first round match. A straight sets win over Sumit Nagal was followed by a four set triumph over 31st seed Marin Cilic. 

The Austrian's most impressive performance came in the fourth round, dismantling 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime over the final two sets, losing just two games after winning the first set in a tiebreaker.

This is the third career meeting between the two players with Thiem having won both prior matchups, three years ago at this very tournament and then a Davis Cup rubber in four sets a year later.

The winner of this match will play the winner of the all-Russian quarterfinal between 10th seed Andrey Rublev and third seed Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals.

Thiem possesses one of the finest backhands in the world and he can hit it for winners anywhere on the court. His forehand, by no means weak, is the side de Minaur will look to attack. The Austrian's serve is also quite good, although with the Aussie's defensive abilities, he may not win as many free points as he's used to.

Thiem's backhand could turn out to be the decisive shot in the match/Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Thiem's backhand could turn out to be the decisive shot in the match/Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The greatest weapon de Minaur is his speed. The nickname given to him of "The Demon" is indicative of how quick around the court he is, able to chase down balls and get them back in play that most other players couldn't. He's able to keep rallies alive and frustrate opponents by making them play one extra ball, so patience will be a key for Thiem.

What will likely hurt the 21st seed is his second serve, considered to be one of the weakest in men's tennis. The second seed will look to step in and attack it every chance he gets, so a high first serve percentage is crucial for de Minaur. To that end, Thiem, although comfortable in long rallies, will want to use his serve to shorten the points.

Experience is also going to play a crucial role as Thiem will be contesting his seventh major quarterfinal while de Minaur is in his first. If the match is close, the Austrian will be better equipped to handle the pressure moments better. On the other hand, the Aussie has nothing to lose as he is the underdog and will come out swinging freely.

de Minaur's speed and his ability to extend points are crucial to his success/Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images
de Minaur's speed and his ability to extend points are crucial to his success/Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

While de Minaur deserves a lot of credit for getting to this point, he simply doesn't have the weapons to challenge Thiem over five sets. Expect the Austrian to get a break per set and advance to his first semifinal in Flushing Meadows. 

Prediction: Dominic Thiem in straight sets

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