Thiem Marches Past Mannarino
Austrian back in US Open fourth round to play del Potro
Dominic Thiem served himself an early birthday present on Saturday at the US Open as he defeated Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. Thiem, who will turn 24 on Sunday, is through to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the third time in four years.
The Austrian, a two-time semi-finalist at Roland Garros, is bidding to reach the quarter-finals in New York for the first time and will face Juan Martin del Potro, whom he met at this stage last year.
"I am pretty satisfied," said Thiem, who had fought past Taylor Fritz in four close sets in the second round. "It was way better than the first two rounds. I don't really like to play against him. He can hurt me or it's not really easy for me to get to my good shots against him, because he's playing flat.
"For sure, by far, the best performance by me. Of course there is always room to improve, but it was really way better, and I really like the feeling that it's getting better from match to match. It's necessary to improve a lot for the next round."
Thiem overcame a blistering start from Mannarino, who has been a player in form the past few weeks, reaching the final in Antalya (l. to Sugita) and the quarter-finals in Los Cabos (l. to Berdych) and Montreal (l. to Shapovalov).
From 3-5 down in the opener, Thiem reeled off seven straight games to take a 7-5, 3-0 lead. After securing a two-set advantage, the Austrian then broke in the first game of the third set before going on to seal victory in two hours and 12 minutes, improving to a perfect 6-0 mark against Mannarino in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
"It was a good match," said Thiem in his on-court interview. "He is a very tough opponent, he's been in great shape the past few months. The turning point was breaking back for 5-5 in the first set, otherwise it would have been very, very complicated."
After a stellar season so far, Thiem is well placed at fourth in the Emirates ATP Race To London as he bids to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the second year in a row. The right-hander captured the title in Rio de Janeiro (d. Carreno Busta), reached his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Madrid (l. to Nadal) and made the semi-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal).