Dominic Thiem Australian Open 2021

‘Like starting from a set down,’ Thiem rallies to move on to Madrid semis

Dominic Thiem has continued his rolling return to the tour, progressing to the Madrid semi-finals with a victory over John Isner.

Dominic Thiem came from a set behind to overcome the big-serving American 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in just under two hours.

“I mean I think we all know that he’s one of the best servers in history,” Thiem said in his post-match interview. “And this altitude here in Madrid makes it even tougher to return his serve.

“But, I was a little bit surprised by his return game. I think that he actually attacked almost both of my serves the first and the second and it took me a while to get used to it.

“And, I mean, if you start with a break down against guys like Isner it’s like starting from a set down and I think the momentum and the whole match changed when I saved those three break points in the second set.”

At 3-6, 2-2 down in the match and serving at 15-40, Thiem saved multiple break point chances for Isner, eventually holding before immediately breaking the American right after.

Thiem’s next match will be his fourth consecutive Madrid semi-final but only his first semi-final of 2021 so far. He will come up against either Rafael Nadal or Alexander Zverev next, both of whom have secured Madrid titles by defeating Thiem in the final. When asked about who he would choose to face, Thiem had this to say:

“No, I don’t pick, I’ll relax and watch the match. It’s gonna be a good one definitely. As you said I’ve played against Rafa, two matches here already against Sascha, one big match.

“So, against either of them It’s gonna be an incredible challenge. Rafa won five titles here, Sascha loves it here with the title in 2018, so it’s gonna be exciting tomorrow.”