‘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.”
Novak Djokovic equals Roger Federer’s record of weeks as world number one
Djokovic is guaranteed to set a new mark next week.
David Goffin ends long wait for an ATP title with a win in Montpellier
David Goffin captured his first ATP Tour title for more than three years by winning the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.
Roger Federer sends his fans into a frenzy with Twitter post ahead of his return to action
Roger Federer fans are counting down to his return to action in Doha next week and his tweet teasing his return instantly became a big hit.
Iga Swiatek’s perfect week as she claims her second WTA title
Iga Swiatek won her second career WTA title with victory over Belinda Bencic in the final of the Adelaide International.
Jamie Murray says quarantine threat on tour means players must be ready to adapt
The doubles specialist plans to travel to tournaments in Mexico and Miami next month without knowing what to expect on arrival.
Battle of the Brits event is back and this time with spectators
The Battle of the Brits events were a huge success during the Covid-19 crisis and now they are set to return with spectators.
The only way is up for Naomi Osaka as she looks to replicate hard-court success on clay and grass
Oli Jefford on the world being Naomi Osaka’s oyster.
Britain’s strength in depth in doubles highlights quality of structure
British tennis may be wondering who can replace Andy Murray, but they have a very different story to tell in the doubles arena.
Rafael Nadal pulls out of his next event due to ‘ongoing’ back problem
Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the ABN…
Lleyton Hewitt to be inducted into International Tennis Hall Of Fame
Former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt is the latest player who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.