Entering Thursday, Dominic Thiem was winless in his four prior meetings with Fernando Verdasco, which included a three-set defeat on clay in Madrid earlier this season. Taking on the Spaniard at his home event in Vienna, Thiem found himself in familiar territory after going down an early break.
Though he would lose the first set, Thiem began a spectacular run on serve, winning 30 successive points—including all 20 in the second set—to reverse the narrative of their previous encounters. The world No. 5 charged ahead to foil Verdasco, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, to reach the quarterfinals after one hour and 47 minutes.
Thiem is seeking his fifth trophy of the season and second on home soil, having triumphed at Kitzbuhel. Of his 15 previous titles, just one has come indoors, at the ATP 250 tournament in St. Petersburg last year. On Friday, the 26-year-old will take on Pablo Carreno Busta, who rallied past Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1. The two have never met previously.
Fifth seed Diego Schwartzman topped Sam Querrey, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (5), to avenge his defeat to the American earlier this month in Beijing. Schwartzman currently stands at No. 15 in the Race to London and is aiming to lift his first indoor hard-court trophy.