‘Everyone just wants their hands on this trophy,’ says Dominic Thiem about young guns left at US Open
Second seed Dominic Thiem laid down a marker with a crushing win over Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round of the US Open.
The Austrian is the highest-ranked player left in a men’s draw that has taken on a completely different complexion following the disqualification of Novak Djokovic.
Thiem will feel it is his time after three losing appearances in Grand Slam finals, most recently at the Australian Open in January, when he very nearly defeated Djokovic.
Dominic Thiem is looking to complete the dream in Queens. 🗽 pic.twitter.com/WlNVKQvolo
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 7, 2020
This time there are no all-time greats left to block the way for the younger guys, and Thiem was in brutal form in a 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, 6-1 victory against 20-year-old Auger-Aliassime, for whom this has been a breakthrough slam.
Asked what difference the absence of Djokovic makes, Thiem said: “For myself, and I think for the other remaining players left in the draw, it doesn’t matter at all if the big three are here or not. I think everyone just wants their hands on this trophy.”
What is certain is there will be a new male Slam singles champion for the first time in six years and, crucially for the future, a first Slam winner born in the 1990s.
All eight quarter-finalists, meanwhile, will be aged under 30 for the first time at a Slam in more than five years.
Another young player breaking new ground is 21-year-old Australian Alex De Minaur, who defeated Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7-6), 6-3, 6-2 to reach his first slam quarter-final.
De Minaur saved four set points in the opening-set tie-break, recovering from 2-6 before pulling away and will now take on Thiem.
“I’m obviously very happy,” he said. “At the end of the day, this is where I want to be, and this is where I truly believe I belong, second weeks of slams and going deep. I’m happy I’m finally at this stage.”
De Minaur is known as one of the fastest and fittest players on tour, but he said with a smile: “If I could definitely blast people off the court then, trust me, I would rather do that. This running thing gets tiring, that’s for sure.
“Look, I’ve got to deal with what God gave me. He didn’t give me the best physique, I’m not as strong or as tall as other people so I have to find ways to win. That’s the way I win.
“Of course I take pride and I want that to be known, I want that to be my brand of tennis. And I want people in the locker room to know that, if they’re going to beat me, they’re going to have to go through me.”
Preview: Emma Raducanu back in action as she headlines the Transylvania Open
The WTA Tour rumbles on in Romania as Emma Raducanu looks to return to winning ways.
Emma Raducanu’s Best Moments On and Off The Court: From Wimbledon to the US Open, Met Gala and James Bond premiere
A pictorial of Emma Raducanu’s whirlwind few months.
Andy Murray on playing in the Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic era: ‘I feel lucky to have played against them’
“They allowed me to improve by setting the bar so high.”
‘I believe it will [get crazier] for Serena,’ says auctioneer after signed Serena Williams rookie card sets record
“Serena will be included in those products long after she’s retired.”
‘I still struggle, but I am super confident next year will be better,’ says Simona Halep
“I still love the sport and love being on the court,” says Simona Halep.
Victoria premier sticks to his guns over double-vaxxed stance for Australian Open as he criticises double standards
Victoria Premier Dan Andrews refuses to change his mind.
Andy Murray highlights key reason for his ability to chase more balls down after upset win over Hubert Hurkacz
“It was a good win in tough circumstances,” says Andy Murray.
Andy Murray finally delivers a knockout punch against a top-10 player as he beats Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna
The pieces continue to fall into place for Andy Murray as he finally gets a win over a top-10 player.
‘I don’t think there is any pressure, but everyone should be a little patient with me,’ urges Emma Raducanu
The US Open winner is seeking her first WTA Tour match victory.
Cameron Norrie headlines Great Britain’s Davis Cup Finals squad with Andy Murray left out as expected
World No 14 Norrie is Great Britain’s top-seeded player in the ATP Rankings.