Thiem Returns To Hamburg Quarter-finals

Austrian to meet Rublev for semi-final spot

Dominic Thiem made it through to the Hamburg European Open quarter-finals for the second straight year on Wednesday, beating Marton Fucsovics 7-5, 6-1.

On a hot Wednesday afternoon, the top seed fired 20 winners and dropped just two points behind his first serve (26/28) to claim victory in one hour and 36 minutes. Thiem claimed eight of nine games from 5-5 in the first set to triumph in the pair’s first FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter.

“I was happy it didn’t go into the tie-break,” said Thiem. “That was also the key moment because from then on I gained more and more confidence, almost everything what I played went in. It was a very good match from my side in the second set.”

Thiem improves to 25-10 this season after reaching the last eight in Hamburg. The World No. 4 has lifted two ATP Tour trophies in 2019, capturing his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown at the BNP Paribas Open (d. Federer) and the ATP 500 title at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (d. Medvedev).

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Thiem quickly found his range on return in front of the Center Court crowd, earning break points in four of Fucsovics’ opening five service games. But the Hungarian remained calm under pressure to reach 5-5.

But, from that point, Thiem reduced his error count and motored to victory. With relentless aggression and depth, the World No. 4 dictated rallies with his forehand and extracted regular errors from his opponent to book a quarter-final clash against Andrey Rublev.

“In one specific zone [Rublev] is hitting the ball amazing, almost from every position on the court [there are] winners,” said Thiem “My main goal is to bring him out of his comfort zone and, of course, not to let him [have] too much [time] in the offence because there he is amazing.”

In the opening match on Center Court, Rublev rallied from a set down to defeat #NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. The 21-year-old is through to his first tour-level quarter-final since the Open 13 Provence in February.

Thiem will aim to extend his 2-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head series record against Rublev. The Austrian defeated Rublev in Vienna in 2017 and at last year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

Defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili beat Swedish Open runner-up Juan Ignacio Londero 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in one hour and 48 minutes. The fourth seed fired eight aces and saved five of six break points to improve to 7-1 at the ATP 500 event.

Basilashvili levels his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Londero at 1-1, after falling in straight sets against the Argentine at Roland Garros in May. The Georgian will face Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the last eight. Chardy defeated countryman Richard Gasquet 7-6(5), 7-5.

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