Match Report

Thiem Sets Tsitsipas Clash In Madrid

Austrian reached final in 2017 & 2018
April 27, 2023
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Dominic Thiem in action on Thursday in Madrid. By ATP Staff

Dominic Thiem continued his impressive record at the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday when he moved past Briton Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-1 to set up a second-round clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The former World No. 3 has reached at least the semi-finals in four of his past five appearances in the Spanish capital and he looked in control throughout his first-round clash against Edmund.

Thiem struggled at the start of 2023, with his first-round defeat in Miami last month marking his ninth loss in 10 matches to that point in the season. However, he has begun to find form on the European clay, a surface he has won 10 of his 17 tour-level titles on.

Last month, the Austrian advanced to quarter-finals at ATP 250 clay-court events in Estoril and Munich, and reached the second round in Monte-Carlo to earn his first ATP Masters 1000 win since 2021. With his win against Edmund, he improved to 6-3 on the European clay-court season.

The Austrian won 86 per cent (24/28) of his first-serve points and remained strong under pressure, saving all four break points he faced to advance after 84 minutes and improve to 2-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against the 28-year-old Edmund.

"It was not easy in the beginning. First match on the centre court and I was mainly practising outside, so it is a different feeling," Thiem said. "I have known Kyle since we were juniors. He has been a tough opponent since the young days, so I went in with a lot of respect. I had some crucial moments in the first set when I saved the break points and then I released a little bit and it got better and better."

With his victory, Thiem improved to 17-7 at the clay-court tournament, while he has climbed two spots to No. 91 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

"I love this court, I have great memories and played some great matches here," Thiem said. "Results wise this is my best [ATP] Masters 1000 tournament by far, so it is time to work on that reputation. Once I was a very tough guy to beat on clay and it is not the case right now, but I am feeling that I am getting better and back to shape."

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Thiem will next play fourth seed Tsitsipas. The Austrian leads the Greek 5-3 in their ATP Head2Head series.

"I am looking forward to that one a lot," Thiem said when asked about facing Tsitsipas. "I like him a lot. He is an unbelievable player, I like watching his matches. He is very elegant. We've had some great matchups."

In other action, Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry downed Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-0, while Roman Safiullin defeated Chilean Nicolas Jarry 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Etcheverry next meets Frances Tiafoe and Safiullin plays Tommy Paul.

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