Entering this week, Dominic Thiem stands at No. 111 in the ATP rankings. That position is not high enough to make the main draw of Roland Garros, a tournament the Austrian wants to get into on his own merit.
The two-time French Open runner-up took a step forward in achieving that Thursday with his most decisive win of 2023 so far. At the Millennium Estoril Open, Thiem outclassed Ben Shelton, 6-2, 6-2, in moving through to the last eight.
“The results in the first quarter of the year were not there,” Thiem admitted during his on-court interview. “This part of the season, I love it. I have a big short-term goal to still reach the main draw of the French Open. All the points are helping me.”
Having won his ATP debut on clay two days earlier, Shelton began on a positive note—his deep hitting and a well-disguised drop shot netting a 2-0 lead. But proceedings turned quickly in favor of the knowledgeable dirtballer, as Thiem mixed up pace, came forward, and blasted strikes from the baseline to reel off six consecutive games.