Austrian Dominic Thiem overcame a one set deficit to defeat young American Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-4 and book his spot in the U.S. Open fourth round on Friday.
After dropping the first set, Thiem responded by taking the second set, setting up an exciting finish to the intriguing third round clash.
Fritz broke early in the third set, and after a netcord winner dropped on Thiem’s side, the ninth-seed angrily destroyed his racquet, feverishly slamming it onto the Grandstand court until it was no more.
“It was a really tough match,” said Thiem. “He played very well. I mean, last year was a close match against him in the second round. We hopefully improved on that in this one. I expected a tough and close one again, which it was at the end. I started a little bit too slow, then pumped myself up with maybe not the best ways. But still, I pumped myself up.”
The outburst did seem to wake him up, as he fought to earn back the break, and would go on to outplay Fritz in the crucial third-set tiebreaker.
In the fourth, Thiem attempted to close out the match without going to a decider, racing out to a 5-2 lead. But after a Fritz hold, rain began to fall and the match was delayed until it let up and the courts could be dried.
Following the delay, Thiem had three-double faults as he attempted to serve out the match, leaving the door open for a Fritz comeback. At 4-5, however, Fritz could not extend play, and Thiem broke for the fifth and final time to secure his spot in the Round of 16 in Flushing Meadows for the fourth time in his career.
For a spot in the quarterfinals, Thiem will either meet 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson or 28th seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
American Taylor Fritz fell to Austrian Dominic Thiem in Day Five action at the 2018 U.S. Open
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.