Schwartzman Advances; Thiem Scores Perfect 10 In Buenos Aires
The top seed stayed perfect in Buenos Aires on Thursday, winning his 10th consecutive match at the Argentina Open 6-4, 6-4 against Germany's Maximilian Marterer. Thiem has won two titles in the Argentine capital and will face six-time ATP Tour clay-court titlist Pablo Cuevas for a place in the semi-finals.
The Uruguayan executed some perfection as well, winning all four break points against fifth seed Joao Sousa of Portugal to advance 6-4, 7-5. Thiem and Cuevas have faced off four times, including three on clay. Thiem won two of their three clay-court FedEx ATP Head2Head matchups.
On Thursday, the Austrian was playing his first match in nearly a month, since 17 January, when he retired against #NextGenATP Aussie Alexei Popyrin in the second round of the Australian Open. But the 25-year-old showed few signs of rust on the South American clay.
Thiem broke in the ninth game of the opener, and, although he stumbled in the second, losing his serve twice, he recovered in time to break again in the ninth game for the straight-sets win. Thiem improved to 2-0 against Marterer in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. It's only his second win of the young 2019 season.
This year will be the last time to see David Ferrer playing on the ATP Tour, and his time in Buenos Aires arrived at its end against countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who saved two match points and advanced 3-6, 7-6(9), 6-3.
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Ferrer had match points at 6/7 and 8/9 in the second-set tie-break, but both were Ramos-Vinolas' racquet, and he eventually escaped the 20-point tie-break. The 36-year-old Ferrer plans to retire at the Mutua Madrid Open in May.
Ramos-Vinolas will face home favourite Diego Schwartzman, who fought past Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to book a quarter-final spot. Bedene saved all four break points in the second set, but Schwartzman found ways to break through in the decider, converting three of his four chances.