In a match between a former US Open winner and a current hopeful, Dominic Thiem showed why he is one of the best in the world right now. Braving a hiccup midway through the match, the second seed bested the 2014 champion, Marin Cilic, 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to move into the second week of the US Open 2020.
However, Thiem later admitted that he needs to raise his level further if he is to challenge for the title. “Not 100 percent yet, I still have to raise my level if I want to go deeper. It’s getting better and better.
“Today was a good win against a big champion, against a great player. That should give me also a boost,” Thiem said after the match.
Prior to their third-round match, Thiem showered respect on Cilic and called him “One of the best players of the past decade and a true champion”. However, on Saturday night, he dictated most of the match and sent a stern warning to the rest of the field through a strong performance.
However, it was not the easiest of matches and Thiem addressed the phase when Cilic made a brief comeback.
“I felt a little bit flat. Normally the crowd helps you with these moments. I was two break points down and played a little bit all-or-nothing and it paid off, luckily. Somehow I got my energy back and broke in the next game,” Thiem said after the match.
Dominic Thiem dominated proceedings from the word ‘Go’. He set the theme for the match right away, breaking Cilic’s serve. Cilic did not even have a hint of a chance at Thiem’s serve throughout the set. Thiem bagged another break on serve to sail through 6-2.
The second set followed a similar start, and Thiem broke serve again in the first game of the set. Thiem continued along his merry way, bagging the second break right away, racing to a 4-0 lead. In just 63 minutes, Thiem clinched a two set lead.
Thiem’s dominance was evident from the fact that he dropped just six points through eight games on his serve in the first two sets.
Cilic finally had something to cheer about at the start of the third set, holding serve throughout his first three games. At 3-2 in the set, he finally earned a look on Thiem’s serve and broke on his third break-point.
Cilic then raced to a 5-2 lead. As Cilic served for the set, Thiem earned a couple of break-points. Cilic stepped up to the occasion, saved the break-points, and sealed the set with a huge forehand error.
Cilic continued to apply the pressure on Thiem with three break opportunities at 2-2. Thiem saved all break-points to go up 3-2 and broke in the very next game. Thiem did not let go of the advantage and eventually sealed the set 6-3 and thus the match.
He now faces rising youngster Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round.