Second-seeded Dominic Thiem eased into the quarterfinals of the US Open with a straight-sets win over Felix Auger-Aliassime on Monday.
Thiem’s 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-1 victory put him in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows for the second time — he also did it in 2018. With top-ranked Novak Djokovic gone, the Austrian is the highest-seeded man left.
“It doesn’t matter at all if the Big Three are here or not,” Thiem said.
“Everybody wants their hands on the trophy,” said Thiem, who won almost half of Auger-Aliassime’s service points, 46 of 88. “It doesn’t really matter who they’re going to beat.”
Thiem has reached three Grand Slam finals and gone 0-3, including a five-set loss to Djokovic at this year’s Australian Open.
He beat a 20-year-old Canadian who had been broken only once during the tournament and broke him five times in three sets. He will face Australian Alex de Minaur in the quarterfinals. De Minaur, 21, eliminated Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-2.
Pospisil led 6-2 in the tiebreaker when it all fell apart.
“The momentum definitely changed after that,” de Minaur said.
Pospisil praised de Minaur’s court coverage, saying he thinks de Minaur might be the second-fastest player on tour.
“What’s most impressive is he never breathes. He runs side to side and he’s never out of breath,” Pospisil said. “He defies the laws of biology, I guess. He’s a freak of nature.”
Third-seeded Daniil Medvedev, last year’s runner-up to champion Rafael Nadal, joined Thiem and de Minaur in the quarterfinals with an easy win Monday night.
Medvedev was in control from the outset of a 6-4, 6-1, 6-0 victory over American Frances Tiafoe, ranked No. 82 in the world. The Russian needed only an hour and 38 minutes as he maintained his streak of winning every set so far in the tournament.
Medvedev has dropped serve only three times in all.
“I’m playing better every match,” Medvedev said. “I hope this can continue. I’m pleased, actually, with the fact I’ve won all the sets.”
With Djokovic out of the tournament and Nadal not playing because of COVID-19 concerns, Medvedev has a clearer path to a title. He’ll face Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals.
Tiafoe had “Black Lives Matter” on his sweatshirt and shoes, along with a handwritten “Respect Us!”
No. 10 Rublev got the better of a US Open rematch and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 6 Matteo Berrettini.
They also played in the fourth round of the US Open last year, with Berrettini winning in straight sets. This time, the 22-year-old Russian played much steadier in a matchup of players who had not lost a set in the first three rounds.
Rublev also reached the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows in 2017.
Berrettini held serve all 45 times in his first three matches. Rublev broke him four times while pulling away.
With Pospisil, 30, gone, this will be the first US Open since 2010 without at least one male quarterfinalist who is beyond his 20s.
“I am probably one of the oldest players left in the field,” said the 27-year-old Thiem, “which is surreal to me.”
Second oldest, actually: Pablo Carreno Busta is 29.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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