Thiem Sets Rublev Showdown In Vienna QFs

Defending champion eases past Garin

Dominic Thiem said before this week’s Erste Bank Open that triumphing on home soil in Vienna last year remains his second-greatest accomplishment. Based on his performance Thursday, the second seed is hungry to add another Austrian trophy to his collection.

Thiem cruised past World No. 22 Cristian Garin 6-3, 6-2 in 66 minutes to reach the quarter-finals at his home tournament for the third consecutive year and the fourth time overall. The second seed will play fifth seed Andrey Rublev in a big-hitting encounter for a spot in the last four.

The 27-year-old, who recently captured his first Grand Slam title at the US Open, was ruthless on the indoor hard court. Without overplaying, he overpowered Garin. Thiem did not face a break point in the match, winning 83 per cent of his first-serve points and only making 12 unforced errors.

Garin has won two ATP Tour titles this year in Cordoba and Rio de Janeiro, but both of those victories came on clay. The 24-year-old struggled to get the Austrian out of his comfort zone, making 24 unforced errors, including 15 on the forehand side.

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The Chilean certainly tried to make an impact on Thiem’s game, even trying moving into the forecourt, where he showed good touch. But for the most part Thiem’s typical baseline shots were enough and he was never forced to go for too much.

Garin got off to a slow start, mis-hitting a forehand to lose his first service game. That set the tone for the match, as he later relinquished another break with a double fault.

Thiem will take a 2-1 ATP Head2Head series lead into his showdown against Rublev in the last eight. Rublev won their most recent clash last year in Hamburg 7-6(3), 7-6(5). The Austrian has already qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, where he made the final last year. Rublev is making a push to earn his first season finale qualification.

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