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Thiem strolls into US Open 3rd round; Muguruza, Raonic bounced out

Flushing Meadows, New York, Sep 3 (efe-epa).- Austrian No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem encountered little resistance against India’s Sumit Nagal on Thursday afternoon at the US Open, rolling to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium to advance to the third round.

Thiem, who turned 27 on Thursday, needed just under two hours to claim victory against an opponent who was unable to control his service games in any of the three sets.

The Austrian leveraged his superiority from the baseline to break Nagal’s serve twice in the first set, three times in the second set and twice more in the third.

Nagal only showed signs of challenging Thiem once in the match, when he recovered from an early 3-0 deficit to even the score at 3-3 in the first set; the world No. 3, however, responded by winning the next five games and was never threatened the rest of the way.

“I was playing well today,” Thiem was quoted as saying on the ATP Tour’s website. “I had a good plan for the match. He’s very dangerous when he can dictate with his forehand. I was exactly trying to avoid that … I was trying to play my fastest tennis to keep him on the backhand, to not let him dictate with the forehand. I did that very well today.”

Next up for Thiem in the third round will be the 2014 US Open champion, Croatia’s Marin Cilic, who overcame a second-set hiccup to down Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 on Thursday.

The Austrian has won the players’ two previous meetings.

In other men’s singles second-round action, unseeded Vasek Pospisil upset 25th-seeded countryman Milos Raonic, the runner-up to Serbian world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in last week’s Western & Southern Open, by the score of 6-7 (1-7), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

Raonic came into this Grand Slam hard-court tournament with high hopes due to his form at that ATP Tour Masters 1000 event, which due to the pandemic was played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.

But on Thursday he was unable to secure a single service break, failing to convert all five of his break points during three-hour, 18-minute match.

In one other upset on Thursday, Spanish two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza, the No. 10 seed, fell to Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova 7-5, 6-3.

Muguruza had said after her first-round victory on Tuesday that her game was suffering from a lack of match play due to the health emergency, and that was even more apparent in her loss on Court 17.

The Spaniard was the runner-up at this year’s Australian Open to American Sofia Kenin, who came into the US Open as the No. 2 seed and is now in the third round after defeating Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-3 Thursday on Arthur Ashe Stadium. EFE-EPA

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