Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem doubles down in Antwerp with another win

Dominic Thiem continues to inch his way up the rankings with wins over higher ranked players as he won to advance in Antwerp.

The former world number three defeated Francisco Cerundolo 6-1, 1-6, 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP 250 European Open. He recovered from a break down in the final set to fight to victory. It was a second meeting between the pair in as many weeks after Thiem downed the Argentinian 6-4, 6-3 in the quarter-finals of the Gijon Open.

“It’s always difficult and interesting to play somebody two weeks in a row,” Thiem admitted. “It’s a little bit strange. But as you said I came out playing really good. 6-1 the first set. But I know that he’s a great player. So it was obvious also in my mind that it’s not going to continue that way.

“Third set was an open game, 50/50. When I was a break down, luckily straight away the re-break and 7-5 in the third. But a very intense and close match.”

The 2020 US Open champion is chasing his first career title since that triumph more than two years ago. He is clearly making progress as his campaign in Antwerp so far takes him to a positive win-loss record of 16-14. Moreover, Dominic Thiem is 16-8 after beginning the year with six consecutive tour level losses in working to come back.

His hard work showed through in the deciding set. “That’s why I work hard every day to be able also after two hours and in a very close score, to play good shots, to play good tennis,” he explained.

“Because that is when it matters most. You know, 6-5 in the third. You have to come up with good tennis to bring the match over the finish line. Luckily today it was my turn.”

Thiem takes on top seed Hubert Hurkacz next in what will be their fourth ever meeting. Of course, the Austrian expects a tough encounter, particularly given their head-to-head record.

“It’s 0-3 against him,” he continued. “Obviously for two years he’s been in the world’s best, definitely. Especially indoors. Unbelievable serve he has. We just played three or four weeks ago in Metz where he had a pretty easy win against me.

“I hope I can make it more difficult for him tomorrow and be able to make another step ahead.”

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