ATP St Petersburg: Thiem advances to semis, faces Sousa - UBITENNIS
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ATP St Petersburg: Thiem advances to semis, faces Sousa

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Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem continued his impressive season with his second win in a month over Denis Istomin, 6-2, 7-5.

 

The two had met in the US Open second round, where Thiem had led by two sets when the Uzbek retired citing an injury. Yet there was little doubt of the victor in this match even early on. Thiem broke in each of Istomin’s opening service games to take a commanding double-break advantage in the first set. The key to the match was Istomin’s second serve, as Thiem won five from eight in that regard in the first set. Thiem himself looked dominant on serve winning well over half his points on both first and second serve.

Istomin at least managed to stay in touch for much of the second set, even forcing his only break point of the match. This was swiftly repelled by Thiem however. The reality of the match was that Istomin was constantly escaping, and his luck ran out in the penultimate game. A deuce game at five-all saw the young Austrian finally secure the decisive break, and he served out for the victory.

Thiem has very few points to defend in these closing stages of the season, having won just two matches in 2014 after the US Open. He did not play St Petersburg last year, and has a very real chance of returning to the Top 20 next week. He is currently ranked 21 with a career high ranking of 18. Top seed Tomas Berdych, who Thiem was seeded to meet in the semi-finals, crashed out to Simone Bolelli in the third round.

Thiem will now face Joao Sousa of Portugal, who defeated Bolelli in straight sets 7-6, 7-6. In a match with no break points, Sousa played the key points well enough to defeat his 63 ranked opponent. Sousa is defending  finals points from Metz last year, where he was runner-up to David Goffin of Belgium. A win against Thiem will see him defend those points.

Meanwhile, Roberto Bautista-Agut also booked his place in the last four, with 6-2, 6-3 win over young frenchman Lucas Pouille. In their first ever career meeting, Pouille struggled to find consistent serving throughout, with woeful first set statistics. Bautista-Agut took full advantage, and broke four times across both sets in the very one-sided encounter.

Even more one-sided however, was the clash between Canadian Milos Raonic and former world number 5 Tommy Robredo. Raonic crushed the Spaniard 6-1, 6-2. This marked the third time this year that Raonic has beaten Robredo, and the second time in straight sets.

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Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open

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Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.

 

He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.

Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.

Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.

“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.

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Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka

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Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.

 

Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.

Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.

In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.

Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.

Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.

“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.

Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

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Stan Wawrinka edges Danil Medvedev in a five-set thriller to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open

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Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka reached the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career with a 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 win over fourth seed and 2019 US Open finalist Danil Medvedev after 3 hours and 25 minutes. Wawrinka qualified for the last eight for the first time since 2017.

 

Wawrinka earned his first break in the fourth game, when Medvedev sent his backhand long. Wawrinka did not convert two more break points in the sixth game before breaking for the second time at love to close out the opening set 6-2 after 32 minutes. Wawrinka won 85% of his first serve points and hit 16 winners to 8 unforced errors in the opening set.

Medvedev broke in the third game of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead, when Wawrinka netted his forehand. The Russian player clinched the second set with three service winners at 5-2 to level the score.

Medvedev broke serve in the seventh game of the third set after a backhand error from Wawrinka and closed out the set with a service winner in the 10th game.

Wawrinka wasted a break point in the fourth game of the fourth set. Both players traded service holds en route to the tie-break. Wawrinka earned an immediate mini-break to open up a 3-0 lead in the tie-break. The former Australian Open champion hit a half-volley winner to cruise to a 5-2 lead and converted his first set point, when Medvedev netted a backhand in the ninth point.

Wawrinka broke Medvedev at 15 in the first game of the fifth set and saved three break points at 2-1. Wawrinka went up a double break in the seventh game and forced an error from Medvedev to wrap up the match, as he was serving for the win in the eighth game.

Wawrinka set up a quarter final against Alexander Zverev, who beat Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4. Zverev beat Wawrinka twice in their two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

“That was an amazing match and an amazing atmosphere. It was really tough to play against Danil. It was really tough to play against Danil. I had to raise my level in the fourth and fifth sets. The level was super high and the atmosphere is something special here in Australia. I am finding solutions. I was losing a bit of confidence in the second and third sets, and was fighting against myself to play my game. I had to fight, stay positive and I am happy with the result”,said Wawrinka.

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