NEW YORK (Reuters) - Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem continued to work his way quietly through the U.S. Open draw on Saturday, easing into the fourth round with a 7-5 6-3 6-4 win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
Playing on the power-packed side of the draw that includes former U.S. Open champions Roger Federer and world number one Rafa Nadal, Thiem has stayed out of the spotlight as he reached the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the third time in four years.
Twice a semi-finalist on French Open clay, Thiem was slow to find his footing on the New York hardcourts as Mannarino took early control at 5-3.
But the Austrian flicked a switch to reel off seven straight games, taking the opener and a 3-0 lead in the second.
”I didn’t get the best start.“ Thiem told reporters. ”I threw everything into the game at 4-5, and luckily it worked out, and I think this was also the turning-point in the whole match because I broke him a little bit, also mentally.’
Two early breaks in the third and Thiem made sure he would be able to celebrate his 24th birthday on Sunday with a win to extend his domination over the Frenchman to 6-0.
Next up for Thiem will be the 11th-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut or 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.
”I am pretty satisfied. I mean, it was way better than the first two rounds,“ said Thiem. ”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.
“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.”
Editing by Ed Osmond