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Thiem Returns To Madrid Quarter-finals

Austrian will meet Rublev or Isner in last eight

Dominic Thiem is making his sixth appearance at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Dominic Thiem is making his sixth appearance at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Dominic Thiem advanced to his fourth Mutua Madrid Open quarter-final with a 7-6(7), 6-4 win against Alex de Minaur.

The Austrian saved a set point at 6/7 in the first-set tie-break and saved four of the five break points he faced in the second set to earn his 15th victory at La Caja Magica (15-4). Thiem, a two-time runner-up in Madrid, has reached the quarter-finals or better at each edition of the tournament since 2017.

“There were many long rallies, [which is] exactly what I need right now,” Thiem said in his post-match interview. “I am very, very happy again with my performance… It was nice. I love the conditions, the court and the tournament.”

After recovering from a break down in the opening set, Thiem fired a pinpoint backhand passing shot down the line to save set point in the first-set tie-break. The 27-year-old earned two service breaks in the second set to record his third straight-sets win in four matches against De Minaur. Thiem, who is making his first appearance since the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in March, is yet to drop a set this week.

“I feel way better than expected. In some points and some rallies, I still feel the lack of matches,” Thiem said. “I am a little bit more out of breath, I am a little bit too tight in some shots and some strokes.

“Everything has to be a little more relaxed again to be in the match mode. I lost a little bit of intensity after winning that close first set. I have to get back in a rhythm, but the more matches I play against these top guys, the quicker I will get back in the match rhythm I need.”

De Minaur was aiming to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final. The 22-year-old, who moved past Jaume Munar and Lloyd Harris en route to the third round, owns an 11-9 record this season.

Thiem will face Monte-Carlo runner-up Andrey Rublev or John Isner for a place in the semi-finals. The Austrian trails Rublev 2-3 in their ATP Head2Head rivalry and owns a 2-1 record against Isner.

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