Dominic Thiem reveals game plan for US Open quarter-final

Iron man Dominic Thiem celebrates after beating Kevin Anderson

Iron man Dominic Thiem celebrates after beating Kevin Anderson

The story of the match was Thiem's ability to nullify Anderson's big serve.

Thiem, who beat Nadal on clay in Madrid in the run-up to Paris, booked his place in the quarter-finals for the first time with a 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2) win over 2017 runner-up Kevin Anderson.

"One of my best matches ever", Thiem had said in an on-court interview. "It's a dream coming true".

But Thiem stretched the 6-foot-8 Anderson far and wide inside Louis Armstrong Stadium to earn a spot in the last eight in Flushing.

"First of all, I served really, really well".

Basilashvili suffered another break at the start of the second set when his forehand landed long and Rafa saved three break points in game four to extend his lead to 3-1 when Nikoloz made another backhand error. "So I didn't face one break point, and I didn't feel so much pressure on service games", said Thiem.

"Also, the court made a big difference". So there were some good advantages for me.

"There's other guys that are big servers that I've played better against". It helped me a lot.

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"I hope that it´s a little bit more comfortable on hard court, but I´m not sure".

Thiem, 24, played it safe from the baseline, but pulled off a near-flawless performance.

For Thiem, Tuesday's quarter-final offers a chance to avenge his defeat by Nadal in his first Grand Slam final at June's French Open.

After upsetting last year's finalist, now he'll face defending champ Rafael Nadal.

The top-ranked Nadal is back in the U.S. Open quarter-finals after beating Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-4.

"I have had three very nice experiences and seven frightful experiences", said Thiem, who has made the last-eight at a Slam other than Roland Garros for the first time. "It's going to be the first time on hard court which is a completely new experience. No matter what, it´s always really tough to play against him".

"[When I've won] I was really aggressive". Nadal again found himself struggling to cope with a powerful display from an underdog opponent, as Basilashvili unleashed one of the most ferocious broadsides seen in these parts since the Battle of Brooklyn Heights. "I did it sometimes against him, but it's a risky game style".

Thiem at least knows that even if all three of his wins against Nadal have been on clay, they were still key moments.

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