Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev are the favorites to win the 2020 US Open after Novak Djokovic's unceremonious fourth-round exit. However, only one of the two NextGen stars will make it to the summit clash, as the second and third seeds will lock horns in the semifinals tonight.
Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem have clashed with each other thrice on the ATP tour, with the Russian player emerging victorious only once. And on his recently launched new website, Thiem spoke about his rivalry with Medvedev and explained why playing against the Russian was 'unpleasant' for him.
Daniil Medvedev is a 'tough opponent': Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem mentioned that he had battled Daniil Medvedev on the junior tour, and that neither of them expected to make it so big in the tennis world back then.
"We played against each other in our youth, even though he is three years younger. At the time, it was definitely impossible to foresee that ten years later we would both be number three and five in the world," Thiem said.
Dominic Thiem and Medvedev contested the Barcelona Open final last year, where the Austrian player tamed his rival 6-4, 6-0. However, Medvedev avenged that defeat by dumping Thiem out of the Canada Masters later in the year; the 2019 US Open runner-up won their quarterfinal match 6-3, 6-1.
The upcoming semifinal will be the first meeting between Medvedev and Thiem at a Major. When asked about the World No. 5's future on the ATP tour, Thiem said that Medvedev was a strong candidate to be a multiple Major champion.
"He'll establish himself above, a candidate for Grand Slam victories. Playing against him is really unpleasant. Because Daniil serves well, moves incredibly. A tough opponent," Thiem continued.
Can Dominic Thiem record his first outdoor hardcourt win over Daniil Medvedev?
Dominic Thiem has locked horns with Daniil Medvedev only once in an outdoor hardcourt match, and that was in the Canada Masters quarterfinals. The surface seems to favor the Russian more than Thiem, which perhaps explains the lopsided scoreline.
But a lot has changed since then. Thiem has made noticeable improvements to his hardcourt game, and he even made it to the Australian Open final earlier this year - where he lost a close battle to Novak Djokovic.
Thiem had been in magnificent touch during the COVID-19 break too, winning multiple exhibition tourneys across Europe. Although he then suffered a shock second-round defeat at the Cincinnati Masters, he has recovered in time to make it to the US Open semifinals while dropping only one set in the process.
Medvedev meanwhile couldn't defend his Cincinnati title, but has progressed to the last four of the US Open without losing a single set.
Needless to say, this semifinal match promises to be a thrilling affair. It will be interesting to see which young star comes out on top and reaches the final - where they will be the clear favorite no matter who they face.Published 11 Sep 2020, 15:55 IST