Tennis: Rain's a pain at US Open for winning Thiem

Thiem reacts as he plays Taylor Fritz of the US during the fifth day of the US Open.
Thiem reacts as he plays Taylor Fritz of the US during the fifth day of the US Open.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (AFP) - Austrian ninth seed Dominic Thiem reached the US Open last 16 for the fourth time in five years on Friday (Aug 31) but only after letting off steam over a frustrating rain delay.

Thiem defeated America's Taylor Fritz 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 and will tackle either 2017 runner-up Kevin Anderson or Canada's Denis Shapovalov for a place in the quarter-finals.

However, Thiem was left kicking his heels for 20 minutes as light rain fell on Grandstand just as he was about to serve for the match at 5-3 in the fourth set.

When play did resume, he served up three double faults to get broken before rescuing his hopes in the next game.

Later Friday, world number one and defending champion Rafael Nadal takes a 4-0 career lead into his third round clash against Russia's Karen Khachanov.

The winner of that match will face Georgia's world number 37 Nikoloz Basilashvili who reached the last-16 of a Grand Slam for the first time by seeing off Argentina's Guido Pella 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4).