Thiem beat de Minaur to book 1st US Open semi-final

Thiem beat de Minaur to book 1st US Open semi-final
Dominic Thiem of Austria pumps his fist after defeating Alex de Minaur of Australia. (AP)
New York, Sep 10 (IANS) | Publish Date: 9/10/2020 1:20:45 PM IST

Second-seed Dominic Thiem defeated Alex de Minaur in straight sets to reach the semi-finals of the US Open for the first time.

In a quarter-final clash that lasted for two-hour and four minutes on Wednesday, Thiem defeated 21st seed de Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to become the first Austrian ever to reach the last four at the Flushing Meadows.

“I had a great feeling from the first moment on,” said Thiem, who will now face 2019 US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev for a place in the summit clash.

“There is no Roger, Rafa, Novak, but there is Daniil, Sascha and Pablo now,” he said. “There are three other amazing players. Every single one of us deserves this first major title. Everybody will give it all. Once we step on the court, those other three are forgotten anyway,” he added.

Thiem had last reached the quarterfinals in New York in 2018. After battling Rafael Nadal for four hours and 49 minutes in an all-time slugfest before falling short in a fifth-set tie-break, the Austrian said the match was, “going to be stuck in my mind forever”.

In the second semifinal, Alexander Zverev will take on Pablo Carreno Busta on Saturday.

Azarenka sets up Serena semifinal

Two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka of Belarus stormed into her first Grand Slam semifinal since 2013 after a dominant performance against the No.16 seed Elise Mertens at the ongoing US Open.

On Wednesday night at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Azarenka looked her vintage best as she defeated Mertens 6-1, 6-0 in an hour and 13 minutes.

“I felt today I really executed the game very precisely,” Azarenka told press after the match as per the WTA website. “I was moving really well. I saw the ball very long. It was long on my racquet. I saw it where I needed to see it. So I felt I played well.

“I found all the right answers to everything she was trying to make today and more, so I’m very happy with that today,” she added.

She will now face six-time champion Serena Williams who staged a stellar comeback against unranked Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria and registered a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory in her quarter-final match.

The match between Azarenka and Williams will be a repeat of the 2012 and 2013 US Open finals, where the 23-time Grand Slam champion had defeated Azarenka to win back-to-back Grand Slam crowns.

“I love playing against Serena,” Azarenka said. “I think we have one of the best matches - at least that I played in my career - against her.

 We always played on big stages. It was a lot of big fights. She’s one of the players who push me to the limit, who makes me better.”

In the other women’s singles semi-final, Japan’s Naomi Osaka will lock horns with No.28 seed Jennifer Brady.

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