Thiem to face Del Potro in round four

Dominic Thiem

Eighth seed Dominic Thiem looked rock-solid as he dispatched Frenchman Andy Mannarino in straight sets at the US Open on Monday.

The Austrian, who turns 24 on Sunday, won 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the third time in four years.

Thiem has performed very strongly on clay, reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros twice, but is also more than capable on hard courts.

With so many seeds already out of the tournament, and with so many withdrawing before the first ball had even been hit, Thiem will no doubt be eyeing a career-best showing next week, with the title certainly not out of the question.

He moves on to face former champion Juan Martin Del Potro, who also completed a straight sets win on the day, beating Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

Juan Martin del Potro

Thiem’s victory against 30th seed Mannarino was a pretty comfortable one, thanks in large part to a superb defensive display.

While Mannarino earned 10 break points during the match – four more than his opponent – he could only convert one of them. Thiem earned just six chances to break, but won all but two.

He was also strong on attack, firing 39 winners and five aces to wrap up the victory in a little over two hours.

“I am pretty satisfied,” said Thiem. “It was way better than the first two rounds. I don’t really like to play against him. He can hurt me or it’s not really easy for me to get to my good shots against him, because he’s playing flat.

“The turning point was breaking back for 5-5 in the first set, otherwise it would have been very, very complicated.

“For sure, by far, the best performance by me. Of course there is always room to improve, but it was really way better, and I really like the feeling that it’s getting better from match to match. It’s necessary to improve a lot for the next round.”

As for Del Potro he was even more commanding in his win over Bautista-Agut.

The 24th seed struck 38 winners – exactly twice as many as his opponent – and fired 14 aces to nil, converting five of 13 break point opportunities.

Del Potro has been on a long comeback trail from injury, but will also be eyeing the second week at Flushing Meadows as an opportunity to make a big statement.

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