Dominic Thiem played what he called his best match of the summer to line up a US Open semi-final with Alex De Minaur after a 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-1 win over Felix Auger-Aliassime on Monday.
Thiem, at second the highest seed remaining in the event after the shock default of Novak Djokovic 24 hours earlier, polished off his Canadian opponent in just over two hours on the Ashe showcase court.
Australian 21-year-old De Minaur began fulfilling promise, with the Spain-based player moving into a Grand Slam last eight spot for the first time in his career through a defeat of Vasek Pospisil 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-2.
The 30-year-old Canadian played a Wimbledon quarter-final in 2015 but has lost more than two dozen times in the first or second rounds of the majors.
Thiem said his form locked into place during his victory.
“The last two sets were the best of this entire American trip for me,” the three-time Grand Slam finalist said. “I beat an amazing opponent, an upcoming superstar.
“I hope to take this into the next round. I don’t feel any extra pressure – but it’s surreal that I’m the oldest player left in the draw,” the player who turned 27 at the weekend said.
“I focus only on myself, it doesn’t matter if none of the Big 3 (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic) are here or not.
“Everyone wants to get their hands on this trophy. I’m finding the right mixture in my game between offense and defence.”
Thiem owns a 2-0 record against De Minaur: “I will try to play with my experience and take positives from this match into the quarter-finals.”
The 28th-ranked De Minaur won his first three ATP titles last season. The son of a Uruguayan father and Spanish mother who met in Sydney, advanced over Pospisil in just under two and a half hours.
The winner had only two aces to nine for his losing opponent.
“I’m obviously very happy, at the end of the day, this is where I want to be, and this is where I truly believe I belong,” De Minaur said. .
“It’s the second week of a Slam and I’m going deep.
“But nothing changes, everything stays the same. I’ve got just another match waiting for me.
“I’m just going to have to try to stand my ground again, do what I do
best, stay solid, and look for any kind of opportunity I can to dictate.”