Dominic Thiem sounds warning with ‘special’ win over Hubert Hurkacz
Dominic Thiem claimed his biggest victory for two years by beating top seed Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals of the European Open in Antwerp.
Former US Open champion Thiem has struggled to recapture anything like his best form since returning from a serious wrist injury in March.
But the Austrian has slowly been finding his confidence again and battled from a set down to see off world number 11 Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (9) 7-6 (4).
He saved three match points in the second-set tie-break, one on a lucky net cord, and was rewarded for bold play in the deciding tie-break, showing his delight after a final forehand winner found its mark.
💪 STATEMENT MADE 💪@domithiem saves 3 match points in a dramatic 2nd set tiebreak to get his 1st win over Hurkacz, defeating the top seed 3-6 7-6 7-6 to reach his 3rd semifinal of the season!#EuropeanOpen pic.twitter.com/73hSLLFSMf
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 21, 2022
Hurkacz is the highest-ranked player Thiem has beaten since victory over Novak Djokovic in the last four of the ATP Finals in November 2020.
The 29-year-old, ranked down at 132, said in his on-court interview: “It’s very special. This victory is unbelievable because it’s my first win over an almost top-10 guy in my comeback. It was unbelievable to play, a great atmosphere, close match.
“I was starting to get into the match, feeling more and more comfortable. Today the luck was on my side. I’m very happy to even get to those close situations again.”
Thiem struck 36 winners to Hurkacz’s 47, with his trademark backhand a particularly potent weapon as he found a way to cling on and eventually snatch the match.
“Indoors, especially against someone who is serving that great, it’s about little details and margins,” said Thiem.
“Today the luck was on my side on that match point. The match could easily have been gone, but it’s like that at the highest level and I’m very happy in general to even get to those close situations again. Today it went my way and I have to enjoy it.”
Thiem had been out for over a year with a wrist injury that threatened to end his career.
He is hoping to recover his best form and once again lift a Grand Slam trophy.
Thiem has now reached the semi-finals in back-to-back weeks on the ATP Tour following his run to the last four in Gijon last week.
In Spain, Thiem lost to eventual champion Andrey Rublev and he has yet to progress to a championship match this season, barring his appearance in the Rennes Challenger Tour final where he lost to Ugo Humbert.
In the last four, Thiem will face American Sebastian Korda, who continued his good form with a thumping 6-0 6-2 victory over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.
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