Thiem Battles Past Defending Champion Sock In Paris
Austrian star continues bid for London berth
Dominic Thiem continued his bid to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the third consecutive year on Friday when he knocked out defending champion and American No. 16 seed Jack Sock at the Rolex Paris Masters.
The sixth-seeded Austrian, who reached his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final at the Mutua Madrid Open in May, beat Sock 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 14 minutes. The 25-year-old Thiem has won the second-most matches on the ATP World Tour this year – now 53-17 – one behind Alexander Zverev, who lost to Khachanov in the Paris quarter-finals and has a 54-17 record.
Thiem, who will next play Russia’s Karen Khachanov in the Paris semi-finals on Saturday, currently sits in eighth position in the ATP Race To London with two singles spots left up for grabs at the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November. Thiem will qualify if Roger Federer beats Kei Nishikori later today in Paris.
Sock raced out to a 3-0 lead, courtesy of deep returns and rushes to the net, but Thiem regrouped to 3-4 by breaking serve with a lob winner. After a slow start at 4-5, Thiem saved two set points, but aggressive returning again from Sock helped the American to secure the 43-minute opener.
Thiem saved two break points at 2-2 in the second set and was soon handed the fifth game when Sock’s backhand return hit the net cord and landed wide. Thiem hit the accelerator, attacked Sock’s forehand, and closed out the set on his third set point opportunity.
Sock snapped at a forehand, striking the ball into the net, to gift Thiem a 3-2 advantage on his fourth break point chance in the third set. Thiem completed his comeback when Sock over-hit a forehand long.