To achieve something important it is necessary to go through difficult situations and win the best. Is what he has done Dominic Thiem emerging unscathed from a third round match that, due to his opponent’s record and real level on the court, could well have occurred in a final. Marin Cilic displayed great tennis at times, but ran into a man full of determination to achieve the feat of including his name in history in this US Open 2020. Four sets full of alternatives and emotion that ended up assuming the triumph of Thiem by 6-2 6-2 3-6 6-3.
Playing well is not enough to achieve glory in tennis, having to occur a series of circumstances at the mental level that mean the separation between a good player and a serious contender for the title. Cilic belonged to the second category on many occasions, but in this tournament he arrived without that spark necessary to be able to qualify for everything. He suffered the unspeakable in the preceding rounds and encountered harsh reality from the first set against Dominic, a clear contender for the title.
And it is that there was hardly any battle in the first two sleeves, where the Austrian completely destroyed his rival. Dominic’s serve fueled at full throttle, dominated with his deep and tense baseline shots and caused constant problems for a lost Cilic unable to play with first serves. 58% and 65% was the percentage of first serves with which the Croatian played in those two unfortunate periods for him, where he did not generate a single break ball.
The correction was being severe, but Marin brought out his pride as a wounded champion to change things a lot in the third partial. Dominic experienced some relaxation and saw his rival jump on top, being much more aggressive and letting go of his arm when he was already lost. He saved two breaking balls and got the break, which gave him infinite confidence to extend the game and dream of giving the bell. Many others would have been nervous to see the response of an opponent of substance, but Thiem showed that he is very serious in this tournament.
The fourth sleeve clearly represented the difference between the two. Possibly Cilic was better and displayed a much more incisive tennis, but the consistency of the Austrian and, above all, his ability to get the best level in peak moments, allowed him to close the match. Dominic Thiem He saved five break balls and executed the first and only one available to give a lethal blow to the game and reap the pass to the round of 16 of the US Open 2020. There a Felix Auger-Aliassime that promises strong emotions and against which he will require his best level and all the intangibles of aspiring to glory.