Second seed Dominic Thiem made an emphatic start on Friday to his US Open semi-final with third seed Daniil Medvedev, winning the opening set 6-2 and becoming the first player this fortnight to take a set off the Russian.
Medvedev arrived to the match having only been broken three times in 68 service games. Thiem failed to convert his first two break points, but a controversial moment on his third opportunity at 3-2 gave him the first break of the night.
The third seed hit a first serve that landed long, but was not called out, and Thiem cracked a backhand return that the Russian didn’t attempt to move for. Medvedev attempted to challenge the call but was denied by the chair umpire, who insisted that Thiem hit the return before the challenge was made. As a frustrated Medvedev pleaded his case, Thiem told the umpire to let him challenge. The call ultimately stood and Medvedev apologised to the Austrian for the disruption in play.
But the moment threw Medvedev off mentally and Thiem capitalised. He took eight of the next nine points to grab the early advantage.
Thiem holds a 2-1 lead against Medvedev in their ATP Head2Head rivalry, but Medvedev won their most recent match at 2019 Montreal. Medvedev only lost four games and won 16 of the first 17 points in the second set of their quarter-final clash.
© Simon Bruty/USTA
Published at Sat, 12 Sep 2020 00:24:00 +0000