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Last Time Thiem Did This? February 2016

In 2017, Dominic Thiem reached five semi-finals, all of them on clay. But less than a week into the 2018 season, the World No. 5 has already reached a hard-court semi-final.

The top-seeded Thiem halted the run of #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha 7-5, 6-4 to advance to his first outdoor hard-court semi-final since February 2016 in Acapulco, where he won the ATP World Tour 500 title (d. Tomic). Thiem also advanced to the semi-finals of the indoor Moselle Open in Metz in September 2016.

Dominic Thiem advances to the Qatar ExxonMobil Open semi-finals on Thursday in Doha.
Thiem hit big all match and took time away from the 6'4” Tsitsipas, who reached his second ATP World Tour quarter-final by beating French veteran Richard Gasquet in straight sets on Wednesday.

The World No. 5 Thiem hit 33 winners and was successful during 10 of his 12 net attempts. He also won nearly 60 per cent of his second-serve return points (16/27).

“I was serving well again today and returning well. That's what I was working on in the off-season so it already pays off now,” Thiem said on court after the match.

He walked away impressed with Tsitsipas. The 19-year-old Greek, who was the youngest Doha quarter-finalist since 2006 runner-up Gael Monfils, has now reached consecutive ATP World Tour quarter-finals, dating back to his semi-final run at the European Open in Antwerp last October.

“He's already so good at a young age. I think he's going to be for sure a top player in the near future,” Thiem said. “He's playing very well, aggressive with a good service, nice one-handed backhand.”

The Austrian will next face Monfils, who saved a set point in the second set to beat German Peter Gojowczyk 6-3, 7-6(6). Monfils last reached a semi-final in June 2017 at the International Eastbourne. The Frenchman is playing in his first tournament since 2017 US Open. Thiem leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-0.

Andrey Rublev, another #NextGenATP star, had better luck during his quarter-final match. The 20-year-old Russian, who was runner-up at last year's Next Gen ATP Finals, beat Croatia's Borna Coric for the second time in as many matches 6-3, 7-5 to reach the third semi-final of his career (also 2016 Umag, 2016 Milan).

Rublev was down a break, 2-4, in the second set, but rallied to advance in straight sets. The 20-year-old Moscow native also beat Coric in the semi-finals of the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.

“I was feeling the ball well. I knew since the beginning of the match that I have to try to dictate the point. I have to try to attack. I have to try to lead, but I have to try to do it with a good position. That was the key,” Rublev said.

Rublev will next face Argentina's Guido Pella, who saved both break points faced and dismissed qualifier Mirza Basic of Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-2, 6-3. Pella, No. 64 in the ATP Rankings, will look to reach his third ATP World Tour final (2017 Munich, 2016 Rio de Janeiro).


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