Thiem playing as consistently as the 'Big Three': Medvedev

Sep 11 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York,USA; Dominic Thiem of Austria reacts after a point against Daniil Medvedev of Russia (not pictured) in a men's singles semi-finals match on day twelve of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Playing Dominic Thiem at the moment is like facing some of the game’s all-time greats, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev said after the Austrian beat him on Friday to reach the U.S. Open final.

Thiem, an Australian Open finalist earlier this year, beat the third seed 6-2 7-6(7) 7-6(5) to set up a final with Alexander Zverev after the German rallied to beat Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in five sets.

Both are seeking their first Grand Slam title, but Medvedev said Thiem’s performance was such that he felt the Austrian was playing at the same high level and consistency as the ‘Big Three’ of the game - Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The trio have between them won 56 of the last 67 Grand Slam titles since Federer won his first at Wimbledon in 2003.

“He played like a real champion,” Medvedev said of Thiem. “That’s actually the stress of the Big Three. No matter which day you play them, it seems like they play the same level.

“Myself or Dominic, we can have these bad days where ... maybe you can say I’m going to play to the backhand of Dominic and get some chances.

“Well, not during this U.S. Open or Australian Open. He’s playing really some great tennis. Everything is there.”

Medvedev acknowledged he was disappointed not to be in a second successive final at Flushing Meadows - he was beaten in five sets by Nadal last year - but said he would quickly move on from the loss as he did not feel he could have played much better.

“Tennis is all about small points. Sometimes you win these points; sometimes you lose them,” he said. “Today I lost the most important points. That’s how he got the win.”

Writing by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Edwina Gibbs