Thiem Celebrates 27th Birthday With Routine Win
Austrian star now faces 2014 champion Cilic
Dominic Thiem made it a 27th birthday to remember on Thursday afternoon when the second seed completed a comprehensive 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 second-round victory over Sumit Nagal in two hours in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The Austrian, who has bounced back from an opening-round exit at last week’s Western & Southern Open (l. to Krajinovic), will now challenge 2014 champion and No. 31 seed Marin Cilic. Thiem has a 2-0 lead in their ATP2Head series, including a 7-6(7), 6-4 win at the Rogers Cup last year.
Thiem started in confident fashion by taking a 3-0 lead, and while Nagal converted his fifth break point at 1-3, the 23-year-old Indian’s depth of shot was ultimately exposed. From 3-3 in the first set, Thiem won five straight games as Nagal, competing with a great deal of self belief, was consistently slow to move into the court for the short ball.
Thiem, runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January, was broken when serving for the second set at 5-2. But he immediately bounced back and went on to run through the third set, losing just two of his 16 service points.
Cilic, who lost to Denis Shapovalov in the Western & Southern Open first round last week, recorded his 10th match win of the season by beating World No. 104 Norbert Gombos 6-3, 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-5 in just under three hours. Cilic struck 35 winners, including 15 aces.