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Thiem Works Hard For Bublik Win At Roland Garros

Dominic Thiem will do well to remember his 50th match win at a Grand Slam championship on Thursday, when he showcased battling qualities for a place in the Roland Garros third round.

Last year’s runner-up recovered from 2-5 down in the fourth set against the charismatic Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik for a 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-5 victory over two hours and 30 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier, the main show court.

“Today was very difficult,” said Thiem. “It was a tough match-up for me because there were almost no rallies… He gave me no rhythm at all. He did it very well, actually… I was playing really bad once I got into the rally, which made it even more difficult. Somehow the fire never got there. It was four close sets, only two hours 30, almost a fifth.”

Thiem is now 20-5 at the clay-court Grand Slam championship, where he finished runner-up to 11-time titlist Rafael Nadal in the 2018 final — the first Austrian player to compete in a major final since Thomas Muster lifted the 1995 trophy.

View Infosys MatchBeats Of Thiem’s Win

In an encounter of mixed fortunes, fourth seed Thiem was on a receiving end of an underarm serve from Bublik at 1-4, 30/30 in the first set and then came back from 1-4 down in the second set, but missed a set point at 6/5 in the tie-break.

When asked about the underarm serve, Thiem said, “To be honest, it’s a good choice against players who are that far behind the baseline. There is nothing bad about it. And I was prepared for that, so that was no problem. For me it was tough because I had difficulties to find a good return position. And the two breaks I made, I think he got a little bit tight at the end of second set and the end of fourth set.”

Having regained the momentum, Thiem became a spectator as the inventive Bublik took a 5-2 lead in the fourth set. But the Austrian began to dig his way out of danger from 15/40 (two sets points for Bublik) in the eighth game. From that point, Thiem won 21 of the next 27 points to fight another day.

The 25-year-old won 83 per cent of his first-service points and committed just 15 unforced errors for a third-round test against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, who was leading Kyle Edmund 7-6(3), 6-3, 2-1 when the No. 28 seed from Great Britain retired due to a left knee injury.

World No. 91 Bublik, who has predominantly competed on the ATP Challenger Tour, was making his debut at Roland Garros this week. He is 3-2 in tour-level matches in 2019.

Infosys powers real-time insights for every point

Later in the day, Croatian No. 13 seed Borna Coric knocked out South African Lloyd Harris 6-2, 6-3, 7-6(2) in two hours and five minutes. Coric first held match points at 5-4 in the third set, with Harris serving at 15/40.

He’ll now challenge Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, who advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam championship for the third time (also 2018 Wimbledon and US Open) following a 7-6(2), 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 6-2 victory over Radu Albot of Moldova in three hours and 14 minutes. Struff hits 15 aces among 61 winners and lost just 14 of his first-service points (65/79).

Thiem Works Hard For Bublik Win At Roland Garros

Dominic Thiem will do well to remember his 50th match win at a Grand Slam championship on Thursday, when he showcased battling qualities for a place in the Roland Garros third round.

Last year’s runner-up recovered from 2-5 down in the fourth set against the charismatic Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik for a 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-5 victory over two hours and 30 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier, the main show court.

“Today was very difficult,” said Thiem. “It was a tough match-up for me because there were almost no rallies… He gave me no rhythm at all. He did it very well, actually… I was playing really bad once I got into the rally, which made it even more difficult. Somehow the fire never got there. It was four close sets, only two hours 30, almost a fifth.”

Thiem is now 20-5 at the clay-court Grand Slam championship, where he finished runner-up to 11-time titlist Rafael Nadal in the 2018 final — the first Austrian player to compete in a major final since Thomas Muster lifted the 1995 trophy.

View Infosys MatchBeats Of Thiem’s Win

In an encounter of mixed fortunes, fourth seed Thiem was on a receiving end of an underarm serve from Bublik at 1-4, 30/30 in the first set and then came back from 1-4 down in the second set, but missed a set point at 6/5 in the tie-break.

When asked about the underarm serve, Thiem said, “To be honest, it’s a good choice against players who are that far behind the baseline. There is nothing bad about it. And I was prepared for that, so that was no problem. For me it was tough because I had difficulties to find a good return position. And the two breaks I made, I think he got a little bit tight at the end of second set and the end of fourth set.”

Having regained the momentum, Thiem became a spectator as the inventive Bublik took a 5-2 lead in the fourth set. But the Austrian began to dig his way out of danger from 15/40 (two sets points for Bublik) in the eighth game. From that point, Thiem won 21 of the next 27 points to fight another day.

The 25-year-old won 83 per cent of his first-service points and committed just 15 unforced errors for a third-round test against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, who was leading Kyle Edmund 7-6(3), 6-3, 2-1 when the No. 28 seed from Great Britain retired due to a left knee injury.

World No. 91 Bublik, who has predominantly competed on the ATP Challenger Tour, was making his debut at Roland Garros this week. He is 3-2 in tour-level matches in 2019.

Infosys powers real-time insights for every point

Later in the day, Croatian No. 13 seed Borna Coric knocked out South African Lloyd Harris 6-2, 6-3, 7-6(2) in two hours and five minutes. Coric first held match points at 5-4 in the third set, with Harris serving at 15/40.

He’ll now challenge Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, who advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam championship for the third time (also 2018 Wimbledon and US Open) following a 7-6(2), 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 6-2 victory over Radu Albot of Moldova in three hours and 14 minutes. Struff hits 15 aces among 61 winners and lost just 14 of his first-service points (65/79).

Thiem Returns To Top 4, Mover Of The Week

No. 4 (Joint-Career High) Dominic Thiem, +4
The 25-year-old claimed the biggest title of his career on Sunday by lifting his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Roger Federer. The Austrian, who had previously finished runner-up in two ATP Masters 1000 finals at the Mutua Madrid Open in 2017 (l. to Nadal) and 2018 (l. to Zverev), first rose to No. 4 in the ATP Rankings on 6 November 2017, spending two weeks in the position. Read More & Watch Indian Wells Final Highlights

No. 45 Jan-Lennard Struff, +10
The 28-year-old advanced to the fourth round of an ATP Masters 1000 for the first time in beating John Millman, Ricardas Berankis and No. 3-ranked Alexander Zverev, before falling to Milos Raonic. In rising 10 spots, the German is now one place off his career-high of No. 44 (8 May 2017)

No. 54 (Career High) Hubert Hurkacz, +13
The 22-year-old continues his rise, moving from No. 88 in the ATP Rankings at the start of 2019 to his current position of No. 54. The Pole reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final (l. to Federer), which included his second Top 10 win — over No. 7 Kei Nishikori in the third round — and Denis Shapovalov in the fourth round. 

No. 64 Yoshihito Nishioka, +10
The Japanese moved up to six places off his career-high (No. 58 on 20 March 2017) after a thrilling run to the Indian Wells fourth round, which includes victories over Denis Kudla, Roberto Bautista Agut and in-form Felix Auger-Aliassime. 

No. 95 (Career High) Miomir Kecmanovic, +35
The 19-year-old Serbian qualified for his second ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells, where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Raonic). He rises 35 places to a career-high No. 95.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers This Week
No. 6 Kei Nishikori, +1
No. 12 Karen Khachanov, +1
No. 36 Marton Fucsovics, -5
No. 37 Stan Wawrinka, +3
No. 46 (Career High) Radu Albot, +7
No. 52 Matteo Berrettini, +5
No. 56 Taylor Fritz, -10
No. 68 Sam Querrey, -17
No. 71 Denis Kudla, -6
No. 74 (Career High) Hugo Dellien, +13
No. 79 Nicolas Jarry, +7
No. 80 Guido Andreozzi, +8
No. 82 Ricardas Berankis, +13
No. 84 (Career High) Prajnesh Gunneswaran, +13
No. 85 Pablo Cuevas, -12
No. 92 Hyeon Chung, -29

Thiem Returns To Top 4, Mover Of The Week

No. 4 (Joint-Career High) Dominic Thiem, +4
The 25-year-old claimed the biggest title of his career on Sunday by lifting his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Roger Federer. The Austrian, who had previously finished runner-up in two ATP Masters 1000 finals at the Mutua Madrid Open in 2017 (l. to Nadal) and 2018 (l. to Zverev), first rose to No. 4 in the ATP Rankings on 6 November 2017, spending two weeks in the position. Read More & Watch Indian Wells Final Highlights

No. 45 Jan-Lennard Struff, +10
The 28-year-old advanced to the fourth round of an ATP Masters 1000 for the first time in beating John Millman, Ricardas Berankis and No. 3-ranked Alexander Zverev, before falling to Milos Raonic. In rising 10 spots, the German is now one place off his career-high of No. 44 (8 May 2017)

No. 54 (Career High) Hubert Hurkacz, +13
The 22-year-old continues his rise, moving from No. 88 in the ATP Rankings at the start of 2019 to his current position of No. 54. The Pole reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final (l. to Federer), which included his second Top 10 win — over No. 7 Kei Nishikori in the third round — and Denis Shapovalov in the fourth round. 

No. 64 Yoshihito Nishioka, +10
The Japanese moved up to six places off his career-high (No. 58 on 20 March 2017) after a thrilling run to the Indian Wells fourth round, which includes victories over Denis Kudla, Roberto Bautista Agut and in-form Felix Auger-Aliassime. 

No. 95 (Career High) Miomir Kecmanovic, +35
The 19-year-old Serbian qualified for his second ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells, where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Raonic). He rises 35 places to a career-high No. 95.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers This Week
No. 6 Kei Nishikori, +1
No. 12 Karen Khachanov, +1
No. 36 Marton Fucsovics, -5
No. 37 Stan Wawrinka, +3
No. 46 (Career High) Radu Albot, +7
No. 52 Matteo Berrettini, +5
No. 56 Taylor Fritz, -10
No. 68 Sam Querrey, -17
No. 71 Denis Kudla, -6
No. 74 (Career High) Hugo Dellien, +13
No. 79 Nicolas Jarry, +7
No. 80 Guido Andreozzi, +8
No. 82 Ricardas Berankis, +13
No. 84 (Career High) Prajnesh Gunneswaran, +13
No. 85 Pablo Cuevas, -12
No. 92 Hyeon Chung, -29

Thiem On Indian Wells Breakthrough: ‘It Feels Unreal’

Who said that Dominic Thiem can bring his best tennis only on clay courts?

The Austrian completed a dream fortnight on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open by toppling Roger Federer for his first ATP Masters 1000 title. Fans perhaps best know Thiem for his clay-court prowess, but the high-bouncing hard courts in Indian Wells suited his game perfectly and his skills on slower surfaces seamlessly transferred over.

“It feels unreal what happened in these 10 days. I came with really bad form in all categories and now I’m the champion of Indian Wells,” said Thiem. “It’s amazing that I did my first big title here on a different surface than clay. I turned a pretty bad start to the season to a very good one.”

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After a first-round exit last month at the Rio Open presented by Claro, Thiem was able to prepare for nearly two weeks in Indian Wells with new coach Nicolas Massu. The hours logged on the practise court were evident and Thiem delivered a high-quality brand of attacking tennis that gave no indication of his 3-4 record to start the season.

Perhaps the most satisfying part of his title run is who he defeated. After beating Milos Raonic in the semi-finals for the first time in their three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, Thiem took out Federer for the first time on a hard court. He became one of at least five players to defeat Federer on all three surfaces, joining Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Patrick Rafter.

But Thiem was quick to praise Federer after the match and said he will likely never catch up to the Swiss star’s 100 tour-level singles titles. He also noted how difficult it still is to beat Federer, in part because of everything he’s accomplished throughout his career.

“He’s such a legend. For all of us younger players, it’s a privilege to still be able to compete with him and play against him in the finals of big tournaments like this one,” said Thiem. “Against Roger, Rafa, Novak, and some other guys, you have to beat not only the player, but also the great aura they have and all these titles they have won. You have to play doubly good to beat them.”

Thiem’s victory at Indian Wells moves him up to No. 4 in the ATP Rankings, matching his career-best standing. He also jumps well inside the Top 8 of the ATP Race To London. But with his first match at the Miami Open presented by Itau less than a week away, Thiem is already looking forward to hitting the practise courts and continuing his top form.

“Of course, the title is amazing [and] it will stay there forever,” said Thiem. “But it would be nice if I could hold this shape and all of these positive emotions in the next tournament and every tournament I play.”

Thiem On Indian Wells Breakthrough: ‘It Feels Unreal’

Who said that Dominic Thiem can bring his best tennis only on clay courts?

The Austrian completed a dream fortnight on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open by toppling Roger Federer for his first ATP Masters 1000 title. Fans perhaps best know Thiem for his clay-court prowess, but the high-bouncing hard courts in Indian Wells suited his game perfectly and his skills on slower surfaces seamlessly transferred over.

“It feels unreal what happened in these 10 days. I came with really bad form in all categories and now I’m the champion of Indian Wells,” said Thiem. “It’s amazing that I did my first big title here on a different surface than clay. I turned a pretty bad start to the season to a very good one.”

[ALSO LIKE]

After a first-round exit last month at the Rio Open presented by Claro, Thiem was able to prepare for nearly two weeks in Indian Wells with new coach Nicolas Massu. The hours logged on the practise court were evident and Thiem delivered a high-quality brand of attacking tennis that gave no indication of his 3-4 record to start the season.

Perhaps the most satisfying part of his title run is who he defeated. After beating Milos Raonic in the semi-finals for the first time in their three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, Thiem took out Federer for the first time on a hard court. He became one of at least five players to defeat Federer on all three surfaces, joining Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Patrick Rafter.

But Thiem was quick to praise Federer after the match and said he will likely never catch up to the Swiss star’s 100 tour-level singles titles. He also noted how difficult it still is to beat Federer, in part because of everything he’s accomplished throughout his career.

“He’s such a legend. For all of us younger players, it’s a privilege to still be able to compete with him and play against him in the finals of big tournaments like this one,” said Thiem. “Against Roger, Rafa, Novak, and some other guys, you have to beat not only the player, but also the great aura they have and all these titles they have won. You have to play doubly good to beat them.”

Thiem’s victory at Indian Wells moves him up to No. 4 in the ATP Rankings, matching his career-best standing. He also jumps well inside the Top 8 of the ATP Race To London. But with his first match at the Miami Open presented by Itau less than a week away, Thiem is already looking forward to hitting the practise courts and continuing his top form.

“Of course, the title is amazing [and] it will stay there forever,” said Thiem. “But it would be nice if I could hold this shape and all of these positive emotions in the next tournament and every tournament I play.”