Thiem Fights Off Fritz For Third-Round Berth
Thiem needed two hours and 50 minutes to deny the #NextGenATP American 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in their US Open encounter on Thursday. Fritz held three set points to force a decider at 4-5 0/40, but his Austrian opponent blasted his backhand with precision in the critical moment, staving off the trio of chances. He saved 16 of 18 break points in total.
"It was 6-4, 6-4 and it looked pretty easy, but it was not at all," said Thiem. "He didn't convert one break point in the first two sets, but I had almost every serve game at 0/30 or break points to defend. In the third set, he converted a lot of these break points. That's why it got really close. All in all, it's not easy to play him. It was 4-5 in the fourth. He made 83 points, I made 84. A really tight match. So I'm happy that I didn't have to go to the fifth.
"I think there are many players out there, like Taylor, who make it really, really tough for players like me because they take away all my time. They play flat. It's really tough for me to turn the defence into offence. These matches like today, you just have to win. That's what I did. That's why I'm pleased."
Thiem has now reached the third round in all four main draw appearances in New York. He will look to replicate his best result when he faces Adrian Mannarino for a spot in the Round of 16. Thiem leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head 5-0, having claimed seven consecutive sets, including a pair of encounters in 2017 (Acapulco & Cincinnati).
Mannarino capped a strong month of August with a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-2 victory over American wild card Bjorn Fratangelo. The Frenchman, who entered the US Open on the heels of a quarter-final finish at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Montreal and Round of 16 result in Cincinnati, is closing in on his career-high standing of No. 27 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
In other action, John Millman continued his impressive run at the US Open, matching his best Grand Slam result. The Tecnifibre player, who is steadily plotting his return to the Top 100 after undergoing groin surgery in February, defeated Malek Jaziri 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-1. He will next face Philipp Kohlschreiber after the 33rd-seeded German advanced when Santiago Giraldo retired at 6-2, 6-1, 3-0. Kohlschreiber is into the US Open third round for the fifth time in six years.