‘Still missing fans’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 11, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:11 AM, September 11, 2020

‘Still missing fans’

With five matches down at the US Open, Dominic Thiem still finds it difficult to maintain intensity in the absence of fans but even without them the second seed expects his next outing against last year's finalist Daniil Medvedev to be a blockbuster.

Thiem made history on Wednesday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium, which would in previous years be bustling with a crowd of close to 24,000, defeating 21st seed Alex de Minaur, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, to become the first Austrian ever to reach the semifinals of the US Open

But no fans are allowed at this year's Grand Slam due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's not easy mentally to keep all the time the 100% energy," Thiem told reporters on video conference. "Everything else I (have) got used to.

"But there are some situations in every match basically where it would be nice to have the crowd just to keep the energy up, just to celebrate great points, that it doesn't feel that bad if you (are) going through a tough period.

"That was not easy to get used to. But it's an unique situation. Now I'm in the semis, it was my fifth match today so I got used to it. (But) there's still situations where it's difficult or where the energy of the crowd would help."

Thiem had three chances to become a major champion while Medvedev had a two-set lead over Nadal before he lost in last year's U.S. Open final, which according to Thiem was one of the "better Slam finals ever".

"I would say that he comes very close to the big three players in terms that he can play his top level, for doesn't matter how long," said Thiem, who lost two French Open finals to Nadal and this year's Australian Open title clash to Djokovic.

"That's going to be really, really difficult. But I'm looking forward to that one. I think it's going to be a big stage, even if it's without fans. It's going to be a great semi-final.

 

MEN'S SEMIFINALS, SEPTEMBER 12

Pablo Carreno Busta vs Alex Zverev

Daniil Medvedev v Dominic Thiem 

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