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While Thiem navigates his way to Madrid quarterfinals, Medvedev falls
Dominic Thiem saved a set point before edging Alex de Minaur, 7-6 (7), 6-4 at the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday, but Daniil Medvedev was less fortunate in falling to Cristian Garin over three sets.
Published May 06, 2021
Following his opening performance at the Mutua Madrid Open, world No. 4 Dominic Thiem said one of his future goals was to show up and play only “where I'm ready 100% to compete.”
The reigning US Open champion, who opted for a mental reset following his exit in Dubai on March 16, was served well by that mindset Thursday at the Masters 1000 event when facing one of his grittiest peers on tour.
Though clay isn’t his preferred surface, Alex de Minaur grabbed the first break, and though he lost it, later held set point in a tense tie-break. De Minaur hit his spot on a first serve up the T to set up a short-court forehand, which he took inside-out. With enough of an opening left for Thiem, one of the flashiest shots on tour—the Austrian’s backhand down the line—lit up the Caja Magica.
It led to winning the final three points for a crucial one-set lead. After needing to erase a 0-40 deficit in his opening service game at 0-1 in the second set, Thiem eventually rode out a 7-6 (7), 6-4 victory.
“The match today was great, many long rallies. I had to run down a lot of balls,” Thiem told Prakash Amritraj at the Tennis Channel Desk following his win. “The tie-break was pretty crazy, actually. From 6-5, to 6-7. Then with a great shot, I saved a set point.
That match really helped. The second good part [is] that I gave myself another chance to face a top opponent tomorrow.”
Thiem awaits John Isner, who battled past No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 7-6 (4).
Second seed Daniil Medvedev however, was unable to build off his three-set win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Five-time ATP clay-court titlist Cristian Garin surged late to oust the Russian, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1, in reaching his second quarterfinal on the Masters 1000 stage (Paris-Bercy 2019) after two hours and 29 minutes.
“I said to myself, ‘I have to go for the match. I have to play aggressive like I played in the first set,’” he shared with Amritraj.
After Garin missed a first serve at 5-1, 40-40, the two competitors were forced to stop for a short period due to a malfunction in the center of the net.
“I couldn't believe it. When you play these tournaments, you never think that it can happen,” he said. “In this case, it was in a very tough moment in the match. The good thing is I won. I played two amazing points after that.”
The 16th-seeded Chilean finished with 29 winners to 24 unforced errors, while Medvedev was in the red with a 20 to 43 ratio. Garin, now 9-6 on the year, gets No. 8 seed Matteo Berrettini Friday. The Italian eliminated qualifier Federico Delbonis, 7-6 (4), 6-4.