New York - Austria’s Dominic Thiem says the “very big” size of the Louis Armstrong Court helped him in his US Open round of 16 victory over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson on Sunday.
The ninth-seeded Thiem won in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2) in two hours and 36 minutes.
Fifth-seed Anderson, who reached last year's final, headed into the encounter with a 6-1 win-record against Thiem but came unstuck on this occasion.
Thiem, who reached this year’s French Open final where he lost to world No 1 Rafael Nadal, said the Louis Armstrong court was almost like a clay court.
“For sure, also, this court helped me,” Thiem said. “It's very, very big. I could go far back at the return, which helped me, which is a little bit like on clay, and this was also a little bit of an advantage today.”
Thiem had never passed the fourth round at Flushing Meadows, but the Austrian, who turns 25 on Monday, served nearly perfectly and gave the 6ft8in South African little time to unleash his mammoth groundstrokes.
“It was one of my best matches ever,” Thiem added.
Thiem dominated on serve, winning 91 percent of his first-serve points (41/45) and never faced a break point.
His heavy groundstrokes and soft drop shots forced Anderson to retrieve from side-to-side, back-to-front.
Anderson served and volleyed and came to net 48 times, trying to take advantage of Thiem's deep return position - the Austrian stood almost next to the line judges.
But Anderson might have been feeling the effects of his earlier matches. He had already spent nearly 10 hours on-court, battling cramps and beating America's Ryan Harrison in five sets during his opener, and on Friday, playing another three hours and 43 minutes against No 28 seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov.
US Open results on Sunday, the seventh day of the 2018 tournament at Flushing Meadows (x denotes seeded player):
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4
Dominic Thiem (AUT x9) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA x5) 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (7/2)
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x3) bt Borna Coric (CRO x20) 6-4, 6-3, 6-1
John Isner (USA x11) bt Milos Raonic (CAN x25) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Serena Williams (USA x17) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-0, 4-6, 6-3
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x8) bt Ashleigh Barty (AUS x18) 6-4, 6-4
Sloane Stephens (USA x3) bt Elise Mertens (BEL x15) 6-3, 6-3
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x19) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x7) 6-3, 1-6, 6-0