Thiem Reaches Second Week In Melbourne
Becoming just the second Austrian man in the Open Era to reach the Australian Open fourth round on multiple occasions (Muster), Thiem broke his opponent on six occasions in two hours and eight minutes. The Austrian now leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 7-0.
The World No. 5 will next meet Tennys Sandgren who backed up his great win over 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka to come from a set down to beat fellow Australian Open debutant Maximilian Marterer 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 7-6(5).
After failing to consolidate his first break of serve in the fourth game of the match, Thiem didn’t make the same mistake twice to grab the initiative two games later to lead 4-2. Thiem managed to hit six times the winners of Mannarino (12/2) in the first set which he served out on his first set point in the 10th game.
The second set would begin with a long first game on the Mannarino serve, where despite saving one break point, the Frenchman would eventually drop serve for a third time in the match. Up a set and a break, Thiem would drop just eight points on serve to establish a two-sets-to-love lead with a second break followed by another strong service hold.
Sydney International quarter-finalist Mannarino, as he had in the second set, dropped serve to start what proved to be the final set of the match. Not to be deterred, as he aimed to reach his first Australian Open fourth round, the 29-year-old broke his higher-ranked opponent for the first time in the fourth game before battling to 5-5. From that point, it was all Thiem.
Two games away from his sixth consecutive Grand Slam fourth round, the Austrian increased his level to break to love and once again held serve to close out the set. The 2017 Roland Garros semi-finalist converted his first match point, with a forehand smash of his opponent’s lobbed return, to book his place in the last 16 on his first match point.