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Sets & The City: Domi’s Dramas in NYC

  • Posted: Sep 12, 2020

Sets & The City: Domi’s Dramas in NYC looks at Thiem’s high-profile US Open moments

New York City is the theatre capital of the world, so it’s a fitting location for some of the most dramatic moments in Dominic Thiem’s career during the US Open.

From devastating losses to milestone moments, looks at the Austrian’s memorable highlights in New York ahead of his championship match on Sunday against Alexander Zverev.

2018: Late Night With Rafa
Thiem struck 74 winners and won more points (171 to 165) than Rafael Nadal in their US Open quarter-final, but it still wasn’t enough for victory. The Spaniard prevailed 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(5) in an epic four-hour, 49-minute marathon that finished at 2:04am.

The 11th match in their ATP Head2Head rivalry was their first on a hard court. Thiem made it clear from the first point that he would look to control the rallies, standing well behind the baseline to take massive cuts at topspin-heavy groundstrokes. He became the first player in 18 months to hand Nadal a 6-0 set and the first since Andy Roddick (2004) to do so at the US Open.

Nadal was forced to play defence for much of the match, but managed to win more of the points that mattered most. A heartbroken Thiem admitted that the loss would sting for awhile despite being proud of his performance.

”It’s going to be stuck in my mind forever,” Thiem said. “I’m going to remember this match, for sure. Tennis is cruel sometimes because I think this match didn’t really deserve a loser. But there has to be one.”

2017: Devastating Defeat To Del Potro
Thiem found himself on the receiving end of Juan Martin del Potro’s comeback of the year in their fourth-round clash. After sprinting through the first two sets against a fever-ridden del Potro, the Argentine dug deep and saved two match points in the fourth set to score an incredible 1-6, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-4 win.

The Austrian needed just over an hour to score a two-sets lead as a woozy del Potro received medical treatment late in he second set. It appeared at one stage that the 2009 US Open champion might retire. But as a heavily partisan Argentine continent urged him on and chants of “Del-Po! Del-Po!” rang out through the Grandstand, he became energised and found the range on his shots. Thiem failed to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fourth set and del Potro saved two match points with aces at 5-6.

After well over three hours, Thiem double faulted on match point and dropped his head as Del Potro raised his arms in triumph. But despite the loss, Thiem was able to appreciate the incredible atmosphere inside the stadium.

”I was really pumped to play in front of a packed Grandstand,” Thiem said. “I enjoy playing more in a packed stadium, even when it’s more for the opponent, than in front of 500 people cheering for me.”

Illness, Injury & Breakthroughs
Thiem has had other moments of pain and pleasure in his previous visits to New York. After pulling out of Cincinnati last year due to Illness, he arrived in New York short on fitness and match preparation. The end result was a shocking first-round loss to Thomas Fabbiano in which Thiem declared that his performance was “not the real me.”

His highly-anticipated fourth-round showdown with Del Potro in 2016 was short-lived after the Austrian was forced to retire due to a knee injury midway through the second set. Thiem said he struggled to bend his knee for three days and the volume of matches he played that year – 69 in total – finally caught up to him.

New York is also the sight of Thiem’s Grand Slam breakthrough. In 2014, the then-20-year-old reached the second week of a major for the first time with upset wins over No. 11 seed Ernests Gulbis and No. 19 seed Feliciano Lopez.

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Kyrgios Supports Campaign For New Local Tennis Facility

  • Posted: Sep 12, 2020

Kyrgios Supports Campaign For New Local Tennis Facility

Australian is providing support through the NK Foundation

Nick Kyrgios has pledged to provide programming support to a new tennis facility in the Australian Captial Territory.

A few weeks ago, Kyrgios showed his support for the Gungahlin tennis facility on social media and he has since extended his commitment to the project through the NK Foundation. The ACT Government will commit to the project — which will support a minimum of 24 new jobs during construction and five ongoing jobs — if re-elected in October.

“It’s going to give a chance for disadvantaged kids. Funding to get them out here and play together,” said Kyrgios. “To have another facility like this, hopefully my foundation can give kids a shot to get out there and play and hopefully they fall in love with it and something great happens. I just want to come down here and see people happy.”

<a href=Nick Kyrgios plans to establish the NK Foundation Squad at the Gungahlin tennis facility.” />

Canberra native Kyrgios also announced that he would establish the NK Foundation Squad at the new venue to support youths in need in the Gungahlin region.

The NK Foundation will provide and fund free coaching clinics at the facility throughout the year. Off the court, there will be a range of activities that will bring the squad together such as social outings and team experiences. The squad will be open to both boys and girls aged 18 and under, with no tennis experience required.

“Nick is always supportive of the local tennis landscape here in Canberra and we are excited that his generosity will provide kids the opportunity to get on court through the NK Foundation,” said Tennis ACT CEO Kim Kachel.

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ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA and ACT Minister for Sport and Recreation Yvette Berry MLA announced that they would support approximately AUD $8 million in investment for the project as a pre-election commitment.

The plans for the facility include 12 ITF specified hard courts, two Tennis Hot Shots courts, along with a multi-lined and multi-use centre court that can be utilised for other sports.

“Tennis in the ACT continues to grow with over 32,000 participants,” said Berry. “This facility will not only help the sport continue to grow – through initiatives like Book-a-Court and the Tennis in Schools Program – but will also support the ACT to host bigger tennis events.”

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Nadal Handed Immediate Test In Rome Return

  • Posted: Sep 12, 2020

Nadal Handed Immediate Test In Rome Return

Spaniard shares bottom half of the draw with Tsitsipas

Rafael Nadal will make his return to the ATP Tour against US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

In his first appearance since the ATP Tour suspension in March, the nine-time titlist will need to be at the top of his game when he meets his countryman for the sixth time in their ATP Head2Head series (Nadal leads 5-0). Carreno Busta has made a strong return to the ATP Tour, reaching his second US Open semi-final earlier this week. The Spaniard also lifted his maiden doubles trophy at the Western & Southern Open last month.

Nadal and Carreno Busta most recently met in the third round of this year’s Australian Open, with Nadal winning in straight sets. If the 34-year-old gets past Carreno Busta, he could meet Western & Southern Open finalist Milos Raonic in the third round. Nadal shares the bottom quarter of the draw with eighth seed Diego Schwartzman and US Open quarter-finalist Andrey Rublev.

View Rome Singles Draw

The five-time year-end World No. 1 enters Rome with a 13-3 record this year. At his most recent event in February, Nadal did not drop a set en route to his 85th tour-level trophy at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco.

Chasing his 10th title at the Foro Italico, the Spaniard will look to add to his 61-6 record at the ATP Masters 1000 event. Nadal is currently on a 10-match winning streak in Rome, having won the past two editions of the tournament. The 35-time ATP Masters 1000 winner won three-set battles against Alexander Zverev in the 2018 championship match and Novak Djokovic in last year’s final.

Djokovic will headline the top half of the draw in the Italian capital. The Serbian will open his bid for a fifth Rome crown against Salvatore Caruso or a qualifier. Djokovic could meet #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round. The four-time champion is joined in the top quarter by fifth seed Gael Monfils and 2008 runner-up Stan Wawrinka.

Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas features in the bottom half of the draw alongside Nadal. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion will begin his title bid against Benoit Paire or Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner. Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals last year, shares the third quarter of the draw with seventh seed Fabio Fognini, US Open quarter-finalist Denis Shapovalov and 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Home favourite Matteo Berrettini leads the way in the second quarter. The fourth seed will face Jan-Lennard Struff or a qualifier in his opening match. Sixth seed David Goffin, 11th seed Karen Khachanov and this year’s Cordoba and Rio de Janeiro champion Cristian Garin are also present in Berrettini’s section of the draw.

Did You Know?
If Nadal triumphs for the third straight year in Rome, he will capture a 10th trophy at a single event for the fourth time in his career. The Manacor native owns 12 Roland Garros trophies and has won 11 crowns at both the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Roger Federer is the only other player to have reached double digits at a single ATP Tour event in the Open Era. The Swiss owns 10 trophies at the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle and the Swiss Indoors Basel.

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Preview: Thiem & Zverev Battle For Grand Slam Glory

  • Posted: Sep 12, 2020

Preview: Thiem & Zverev Battle For Grand Slam Glory previews US Open final

Second seed Dominic Thiem and fifth seed Alexander Zverev have in recent years become familiar with facing each other in the biggest events on Tour. The pair of talented young stars take their rivalry to new heights on Sunday as they each look to win their maiden Grand Slam title in the US Open final.

”When you start playing tennis at a young age, the thing that you always wanted to do is play in big tournaments [and] the big finals. I feel like this is the reason I started playing tennis,” Zverev said. “You’ve got to be able to handle it… For me, it was always about the big moments in big tournaments.”

Dominic Thiem (2) vs. Alexander Zverev (5) – Thiem leads 7-2

Read Player Features
Thiem: ‘The Chance Is Now’
Zverev: ‘There’s Still One More Step To Go’

Thiem leads Zverev 7-2 in their ATP Head2Head series and won their past three matches, including a four-set triumph in this year’s Australian Open semi-finals. Both players hit more winners than unforced errors that night in producing arguably the highest-quality match to date in their rivalry.

It’s a level that Thiem was far from a few weeks ago as he crashed out in his opening match at the Western & Southern Open. The 27-year-old gradually found his form this tournament and is now in full flight, winning his past three matches without dropping a set. Thiem’s mental toughness was also on display in his semi-final with Daniil Medvedev as he saved a set point in the second and third sets.

Unlike his three previous Grand Slam finals against Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, he’ll arrive as the on-paper favourite against Zverev. But despite his favourable record, Thiem will put history aside and approach the match with a clean slate.

”I won’t change my mindset at all. I know what Sascha is capable of,” Thiem said. “He’s a hell of a player. One of the greatest ones in [the] past years. Won all titles besides a major. He will also try everything that he’s capable of doing to win the title. It’s going to be a super difficult match.”

Thiem leads the tournament in return games won (32/82, 39%) and will look to apply pressure on Zverev’s serve, which has been prone to spurts of double faults. Although he shines in long baseline rallies, Thiem has also shown a greater willingness to finish points at net. That could serve him well as he hopes to avoid testing a minor right ankle injury that he sustained against Medvedev.

Zverev had struggled with internal and external pressure at Grand Slams, but broke free from that this year. After achieving his first Grand Slam semi-final in Melbourne, the 23-year-old is the youngest player to reach the US Open final since Djokovic in 2008. Should he prevail on Sunday, he’ll become the youngest major winner since a 20-year-old Juan Martin del Potro at this event in 2009.

The German showed impressive mental toughness in shaking off slow starts during his quarter-final and semi-final matches. He rallied from a set and a break down against Borna Coric in the quarter-finals, then fought back from two sets down against Pablo Carreno Busta to reach the final. His fitness is also evident in continuing to bounce back from long matches. Zverev’s average match time this fortnight has exceeded three hours.

Although his comebacks have been admirable, Zverev can’t afford to start slowly against Thiem. He’ll need to use his serve and forehand to keep the points short and avoid lengthy rallies with the tireless Austrian. The longer the match goes, the more it will likely swing in favor of Thiem, who produced a 15-3 record last year in deciding sets.

But perhaps the biggest factor will be who handles the occasion better. Thiem will have to erase the memories of his previous defeats in Grand Slam finals and Zverev will need to handle his nerves as he plays the biggest match of his career. The Austrian will also face his first major final without any fans. Although Thiem has adapted well to the unique atmosphere, he fed off vocal crowds throughout his three previous Grand Slams finals and will need to draw energy from elsewhere.

”It’s the biggest goal and also the biggest dream I’ve had in my tennis career for a few years now,” Thiem said. “Of course, it’s pressure for me. At the same time, I try to think not too much about it. If it’s not going to happen on Sunday, I have to continue working and maybe get the chance at another Slam. [But] the chance is now… I’ll try everything to make it.”

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Qureshi: 'I Couldn't Watch My People Suffer'

  • Posted: Sep 12, 2020

Qureshi: ‘I Couldn’t Watch My People Suffer’

In this installment of’s My Point series, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi writes about helping people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic

I could not sit by and watch my country’s people suffer.

The past five months have been extremely difficult for everyone around the world. Many are desperate in Pakistan and to be honest, it’s a very scary sight. In my hometown of Lahore, people are really needy. Many families are cramped into a small room with seven or eight people staying in one tight space. They are terrified.

COVID-19 has affected everyone. It has been terrible to see everything that it has caused. In Pakistan alone, there have been about 300,000 confirmed cases. But unfortunately, my country has more than just the coronavirus to stress about. A lot of people from small villages come to a city like Lahore to work for their daily wages and then they go back home. That is how they earn enough money to put food on the table for their entire family.

More than 210 million people live in Pakistan, and many of them have been suffering. I think people are more scared of hunger than of the coronavirus itself. I worry for them.

I knew people needed help. Many Pakistanis sent me messages on social media begging for it. Nobody asked for money. They just needed food. They wanted to survive.

Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi
Photo Credit: Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi
* * * * *
When I was really young, before I started playing tennis, I always wanted to be a fighter pilot. I dreamt of flying planes. I used to draw pictures of them as well as I could. I had small figures: army figures, air force figures, all that kind of stuff. I thought it would be the coolest thing to fly and serve my country.

But I was probably destined to be a tennis player. My mother was Pakistan’s No. 1 player for 10 years. Tennis has always been a family sport and it’s in my blood. Life without tennis would be incomplete. It’s very difficult to imagine what would have happened had I chosen another career. I would have missed out on meeting so many people and getting to work with amazing organisations. I wouldn’t be Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi without tennis.

My dream as a kid was always to somehow make my country proud of me and serve my people. Some people know me for helping bridge barriers between Pakistan and other countries. First, I played with Israel’s Amir Hadad. I later had success with India’s Rohan Bopanna, reaching the US Open final. I believed that politics and religion should not intrude on sports, and followed my gut instinct.

Tennis has given me that platform to do so and once I started playing tennis then not only was I able to make my family proud, but I was given an incredible opportunity to try to make a difference in the world. That’s the reason I’m still playing tennis right now.

A lot of that mindset goes back to my family’s foundation, the Haq Foundation. It has long supported SOS Village, which provides a loving home for orphaned children. We always asked them if the kids need anything like clothes, new blankets or even food. About 15 years ago, the president of the SOS Village asked me to visit in person and I said, ‘Sure, I would love to’. I will remember that day forever.

The president asked if I’d be able to donate a hearing aid for a few of the children. One young girl who was six years old walked over and she had never heard before. They helped set up the hearing aid I had donated and that moment when she was able to hear for the first time was a mind-blowing experience. She was crying with happiness and that made me burst into tears — of joy, of course. I was emotionally overwhelmed. I donated such a small thing, a hearing aid, and I was able to impact her so massively.

Five years ago I started my foundation, Stop War Start Tennis. The goal is to not just support Pakistan, but places throughout the world like Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Rwanda that have been ravaged by war and natural disasters. We do our best to provide equipment and tennis wheelchairs to people who have lost limbs through uncontrollable circumstances.

Photo Credit: Robert Davis
A few years ago with the help of an ATP ACES For Charity grant, I was able to donate more than 50 hearing aids in Uganda for a deaf school. They sent me all the videos of these kids wearing the hearing aids for the first time with their reactions when they were able to hear. These moments give you jitters and goosebumps. They motivate and inspire me to help more people.

I was lucky enough to win the Peace and Sport Award from the Prince of Monaco. Being a Pakistani, being a Muslim, you can’t even dream of that. I never even thought earning such recognition was possible, and that helped me realise the impact I could make on people in the bigger picture. I knew I had to continue trying to inspire others.

At the beginning of this pandemic, I decided to work with Rizq, a local organisation whose goal is to create a hunger-free Pakistan. The idea was to help raise funds to provide rations to families in need. People were able to come pick up boxes that contained enough flour, rice, oil, grains, tea, milk and soap to care for a family of five for a month.

But then we started going into lockdown because of COVID-19, which made things more difficult. I had to be aware of my family: my parents, nieces and nephews. Many people in Pakistan live in a joint-family structure so a lot of people live together in one house. If I went out to help every day without proper precautions, it would put my family at risk, which I didn’t want to do.

But I knew people needed help. I wore gloves, a mask and hat to protect myself as well as possible. I would come home and take off all my clothes and put them into a separate wash and take a proper shower and keep washing my hands, thinking the whole time about how many more people I wish I could help.

Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi
Photo Credit: Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi
I volunteered to deliver rations to whomever needed it. I’d say the toughest part wasn’t putting myself at risk, but knowing I couldn’t possibly get to everyone who needed assistance by myself. It was crazy to see the people’s faces when we delivered food. They were so incredibly thankful. Hunger might seem like a small issue in the world because of the virus, but it’s a huge task right now in Pakistan.

While I did this, I also liaised with businesspeople in Pakistan to try to raise funds through an auction to support our Stars Against Hunger campaign, for which many star athletes were gracious enough to donate memorabilia. I have been able to help raise more than 20 million Pakistani rupees and support more than 25,000 people. This is something we need to continue working hard to support, as it will take time to fix this issue.

One of the best parts of being a tennis player is I have a platform to reach more people and inspire them to care for those in need. That is what I’ve learned from Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. These guys have pretty much achieved everything in life and in tennis, but they are still helping so many and inspiring millions more not just with their tennis, but their humanity.

Watching them hit tennis balls is amazing in itself. But how they treat others throughout the world has inspired me more than anything. They have taught me a major lesson: Life is not all about us. If you’re in a position to help the less privileged, then you need to do that in any way possible.

As an athlete, especially when you play an individual sport, you sometimes become very selfish. Everything is about yourself and your career, your performance and results. It’s all about me, me, me, me, me and you forget about the world. You forget about what’s happening around you.

I don’t want to be remembered as just a tennis player. I really want to be remembered as a good and loving human being. If people can remember me like that, that would be enough for me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be in this position, but I couldn’t be more thankful.

– as told to Andrew Eichenholz

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Hanfmann Outlasts Djere To Reach Kitzbühel Final

  • Posted: Sep 12, 2020

Hanfmann Outlasts Djere To Reach Kitzbühel Final

German to face Kecmanovic for the trophy

Yannick Hanfmann advanced to his first ATP Tour final in three years on Saturday, beating Laslo Djere 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel.

The 28-year-old held two match points at 5-4 in the third set, before eventually converting his third match point in a final-set tie-break with a backhand return winner. Hanfmann won 63 per cent of second-serve return points (30/48) to advance after two hours and 25 minutes.

”I didn’t feel so good [after the first match points]. At that level, if you miss those chances you can lose the match right away,” said Hanfmann. “I was happy that I had chances to go back up 6-5 and break him. I didn’t make that, so it was a tough few minutes for me to really get settled again.

”In the tie-break, I had a pretty clear mind. I was just trying to play point-by-point… really go for my game and that is what I did. It is fitting that I finished it with a backhand return winner.”

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Hanfmann entered the tournament seeking his first ATP Tour victory since the 2018 BMW Open by FWU in Munich, but the World No. 118 has now won six straight matches from qualifying to reach his second tour-level championship match. At the 2017 Swiss Open Gstaad, Hanfmann reached his maiden ATP Tour final from qualifying before falling in straight sets to Fabio Fognini.

Aiming to become the first qualifier to lift an ATP Tour crown since Daniil Medvedev’s 2018 triumph at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, Hanfmann will face Miomir Kecmanovic for the first time in the final. Kecmanovic advanced to his second ATP Tour final with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 win against Swiss qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler.

The #NextGenATP Serbian won 86 per cent of first-serve points (37/43) throughout the two-hour, 19-minute contest. Kecmanovic will attempt to clinch his first ATP Tour crown after a runner-up finish in Antalya last year.

“I know it is not going to be easy because [Yannick] is a big guy [who] serves well, but hopefully I can make him play,” said Kecmanovic. “Like today, [I need to] stay in the point as long as I can and just try to force him to go for too much.”

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Thiem: 'The Chance Is Now'

  • Posted: Sep 12, 2020

Thiem: ‘The Chance Is Now’

Second seed advances to US Open final on Friday

For the past three seasons, Dominic Thiem inched closer to his dream of winning a Grand Slam title.

After a brutal straight-sets defeat to Rafael Nadal in the 2018 Roland Garros final, he took a set off the Spaniard when they reprised that final the following year in Paris. Thiem then came within one set of a major championship at this year’s Australian Open before suffering a heartbreaking five-set loss to Novak Djokovic.

The Austrian gave himself another chance on Friday by defeating Daniil Medvedev in their US Open semi-final. Only fifth seed Alexander Zverev stands between him and a maiden Grand Slam crown.

“It’s the biggest goal and the biggest dream I’ve had in my tennis career for a few years, since the moment I realised that maybe I can make it one day and especially since I played [my] first final at 2018 Roland Garros,” Thiem said. “It was really tough to digest that loss in Australia as I was super close. I’m happy that in a pretty short time, I gave myself another chance with this win today [and] with the final on Sunday.”

“Of course, it’s pressure for me. At the same time, I try not to think too much about it. If it’s not going to happen on Sunday, I have to continue working and maybe get the chance at another Slam. [But] the chance is now… I’ll try everything to make it.”

Thiem’s latest chance was far from a guarantee. He suffered a shocking opening-round defeat last month at the Western & Southern Open and didn’t produce his best tennis in the first week of the US Open, but gradually rounded into form this fortnight.

But it was Thiem’s mental fortitude that got him over the line against Medvedev. The Russian served for the second and third sets and also held a set point in both of them. Thiem held his nerve and forced Medvedev to beat him, which he didn’t. He powered through a left ankle injury to continue chasing down shots and capitalised on the few opportunities provided to improve to 3-1 in their ATP Head2Head rivalry.

“That was a great match on a very high level. [It] was probably the toughest straight-sets win I’ve ever had,” Thiem said. “I could have easily been one [or] two sets down. He served for the second and third sets. Luckily, I played my best tennis towards the end of both of these sets.”

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Unlike Thiem’s three previous Grand Slam finals, he’ll step on court this Sunday as the on-paper favourite. He holds a 7-2 lead against Zverev in their ATP Head2Head series and won their past three matches, including a four-set triumph this year in the Australian Open semi-finals.

Although Thiem acknowledges the magnitude of having a guaranteed new Grand Slam champion, he said facing that reality has helped him detach from it. He plans to prepare for the final in the same way he approached his first round, leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of victory.

“From the moment Novak was out of the tournament, it was clear that there’s going to be a new Grand Slam champion. From that moment on, that was also out of my mind,” Thiem said. “I was just focussing on the remaining guys left in the draw. Now it’s Sascha remaining. I will fully focus on him and go into that match like in the all other matches so far in this tournament.”

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Medvedev On Thiem: 'He Played Like A Champion'

  • Posted: Sep 12, 2020

Medvedev On Thiem: ‘He Played Like A Champion’

Russian exits US Open after semi-final defeat

Having played several ATP Head2Head matches against each of the Big Three, Daniil Medvedev is an authority in comparing their level to that of his peers. After falling to Dominic Thiem on Friday in the US Open semi-finals, he believes the Austrian has turned a corner in matching their day in, day-out consistency.

“He played like a real champion. That’s actually the stress of the Big Three. No matter which day you play them, it seems like they play the same level,” Medvedev said. “Talking about myself or Dominic, we can have these bad days where… Maybe you can say, ‘I’m going to play to the backhand of Dominic and get some chances.’ Well, not during this US Open or Australian Open. He’s playing really some great tennis. Backhand, forehand, slice, everything is there.”

Medvedev only won 15 fewer points than his opponent (112 to 127), but fell short in the most crucial points of the match. He had only been broken three times in his first five rounds and held the most dominant serving stats among the semi-finalists, but was unable to serve out the second and third sets against Thiem. He also failed to convert the set point he held in each of those sets.

Rather than rue those missed opportunities or his 44 unforced errors on the night, Medvedev felt the end result was due to Thiem’s play. He credited his opponent with maintaining a high level and applying constant pressure in their baseline exchanges.

“What I would do different in this semifinal? Probably not much,” Medvedev said. “We can talk about some shots, losing concentration in the first set. But Dominic played really good.

“Tennis is all about small points. Sometimes you win these points, sometimes you lose them. Today, I lost the most important points. That’s how he got the win. But I think it was really high-level tennis and Dominic was playing really good.”

Despite the loss, Medvedev will depart New York with confidence as he turns his focus to the clay-court swing. He entered this tournament having only won six of his past 10 matches and struggled for confidence, but finished by regaining the form from the second half of last year that saw him clinch his first two ATP Masters 1000 titles (Cincinnati & Shanghai), in addition to reaching his first Grand Slam final at the US Open.

”Definitely more happy than disappointed,” Medvedev said. “[If] two months ago, someone would tell me I’d make [the] semi-finals of the US Open, I would be super happy because I was not feeling great about my game [and] my physical shape. I had huge troubles in practice. I was like, ‘Okay, how am I going to play?’

”Finally, I showed a great level. Even talking about tonight, [I’m] super happy about my level. Disappointed with the loss, but great experience. Great result. Looking forward to the next tournaments.”

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