After witnessing a two sets to love comeback from Alexander Zverev, what was everyone going to be in store for when Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev took to the court for the second US Open semifinal. Both men were prohibited favorites to reach the semifinals in the bottom half and did without any issues, dropping one set combined en route to this showdown.
In a battle of the last two hard court Grand Slam runner-ups, it was Thiem who claimed it 6-2, 7-6(7), 7-6(5), setting up a showdown with Zverev. The two met earlier in the Australian Open semifinal with the two seed winning in four sets.
First Set Controversy
Both players knew they had plenty to offer in both the offensive and defensive departments, but Thiem wanted to be sure he didn’t get drawn into Medvedev’s game too often. The Austrian was the first to get a look at break chances in the fourth game. A missed backhand saved the Russian from falling behind. However, the set turned on its head in the sixth game.
Serving break point down for the second time in the game, the Russian wanted to challenge the non-out call on his serve, knowing his serve was long. Chair Umpire Damien Dumusois, who happened to also be in the chair during Medvedev’s antics in the third round of the Open last year, explained why he would not let him challenge and hit the three seed with a code violation for crossing the net for good measure.
Unable to bounce back from that, Medvedev threw the set away for Thiem to take 6-2.
Thiem Takes Gritty Second Set
After the set, the 24-year-old Russian went off the court and also apologized to his opponent on the other side of the net for the delay he caused after dropping serve in the first set. The ability to bounce back was quickly on display for the three seed after flying out to a 2-0 lead which included a hold of serve in under a minute.
Action was quiet in the set for the most part until the tenth game. The third-seeded Austrian flew out to a 0-30 lead and broke. With Thiem serving, the game to get the 6-5 lead was a war. Both players were tight, missing what were routine balls. Five break points went away for Medvedev as Thiem closed out for his first lead of the set with a beautiful wide serve followed by a forehand winner.
The tiebreak had very few big swings to it. Anytime someone got out to a mini-break lead, it would be given right back. Margins were tight as neither succumbed to the pressure until a poor drop shot led to a Thiem forehand winner. The Austrian closed out the set, leaving it all to do for Medvedev who has never come back from two sets down.
Thiem Tames Medvedev
Thiem took time to get a medical timeout after the set to get his ankle checked out. He was grabbing at it after he took a tumble in the tiebreak. After a missed backhand to go up an early break, Thiem began to waver falling behind 0-3 quickly.
Despite being behind in this set, Thiem knew he was capable of coming back after the second set. Medvedev was looking shaky in the fifth game, but Thiem could still not convert his break chance. He got his break back after a long rally, set up with backhand and finishing it off with a forehand winner.
Another tiebreak ensued and this time, Thiem roared out to a 4-1 lead thanks in part to unforced errors off the racquet of Medvedev. The Russian clawed it back to get 5-6, serving to stay in the match, but he dumped a forehand into the net to end his US Open run.