Fixture: Dominic Thiem vs Daniil Medvedev
Date: 11 September 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: Not before 5.30 pm EDT, 3 am IST
Live Telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Dominic Thiem vs Daniil Medvedev preview
World No. 3 Dominic Thiem is being tipped by many as the favorite to win the 2020 US Open. He has dropped just one set in the tournament thus far and appears determined to get his maiden Grand Slam title this year.
Thiem has looked increasingly dangerous as the tournament has progressed, particularly in the last two rounds. He swatted away Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round with a clinical performance, registering a 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-1 win. The Austrian was just as dominant (if not more) against Alex de Minaur in the quarterfinal, taking him out in straight sets.
Dominic Thiem's commanding 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory in that match would have sent a message to the rest of the field - that he means business.
Thiem's semifinal opponent Daniil Medvedev made it to the final of the US Open last year, where he fell just short against Rafael Nadal after five intense sets. The match finished 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, but not before the Russian made the entire world sit up and take notice of his talent.
Medvedev seems to have picked up this year right where he left off in 2019. He has not lost a single set at the tournament so far, running through all his opponents with impressive scorelines.
Medvedev's toughest fixture came against compatriot Andrey Rublev in the fourth round, where he was taken to a tie-break for the first time in the tournament. But the 24-year-old found a way through, winning 7-6(6), 6-3, 7-6.
Medvedev did have a minor injury scare in the quarterfinal, as he received shoulder treatment late in the third set. But later he played down any physical concerns, saying he was back to 100 per cent fitness by the end of the match.
Dominic Thiem vs Daniil Medvedev head-to-head
Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have faced off thrice on tour so far, with the Austrian leading the head-to-head 2-1.
Their first encounter came in the quarterfinal at St. Petersburg 2018, which Thiem won 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(2). They then met twice in 2019 - the final in Barcelona and the quarterfinal at the Canada Masters.
Thiem won the first of those matches in straight sets, even bagelling Medvedev during a 6-4, 6-0 destruction. The Russian, however, won in Canada with a 6-3, 6-1 scoreline.
Their hardcourt head-to-head is tied at 1-1.
Dominic Thiem vs Daniil Medvedev prediction
This promises to be one of the most exciting matches of the tournament. Two talented and hungry players, the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds at the tournament, will lock horns in pursuit of their maiden Grand Slam title.
They've both been painstakingly close to the milestone in the past: Dominic Thiem is a three-time Grand Slam finalist, and Daniil Medvedev made it to the USO final last year. With No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic out of the tournament, the duo will really fancy their chances of winning that elusive Slam this time around.
Thiem started the tournament looking slightly rusty, but has looked increasingly dangerous with each passing match. The Austrian seems to be in phenomenal touch now, with his groundstrokes resembling grenades that explode off the court.
Thiem's spin-heavy forehand will likely be a big factor in the semifinal, considering the way it has troubled the very best players on tour over the years.
Daniil Medvedev, however, will be fairly upbeat coming into this match too. He has fired 49 aces in the tournament so far, and looked supremely comfortable executing his patient, counterpunching style on the court. The Russian's latest hardcourt result against Thiem is also likely to boost his confidence ahead of the game.
That said, Thiem has come close to a maiden Major title too many times in his career, including the intense five-setter at the Australian Open earlier this year. Given how badly he wants to take that next step, the Austrian is likely to go all the way this time around.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in five sets.Published 10 Sep 2020, 16:36 IST