KITZBÜHEL, August 1, 2019
Dominic Thiem gave the home crowd something to cheer about on quarterfinals Thursday at the Generali Open Kitzbühel by defeating Pablo Andujar from Spain 7-6(4), 6-4. In front of 5,600 spectators on a packed Centre Court, the top seed from Austria capitalized on four of his six break point chances to advance in one hour and 45 minutes.
— Florian Heer (@Florian_Heer) August 1, 2019
“It was a tough one today, not my best match with a lot of breaks,” Thiem said. “I was 0-3 down in the second set but managed to fight back. I often have matches like this during a tournament but the crowd helped me a lot today.”
Thiem, who is seeking his first title on home soil, will return to the stage of the final four in Kitzbühel for the first time since 2015.
“This is a positive sign but I want to win the tournament. However, I need to improve, otherwise it will not work out for me.”
Next up: Sonego
Thiem will next take on No. 7 seed Lorenzo Sonego of Italy, who ousted third favourite and 2005 finalist Fernando Verdasco from Spain 6-4, 6-4. The 24-year-old Italian won 55 per cent of the total points played to advance after one hour and 34 minutes.
“I had to save eight match points in the first round and one in the second round. Today wasn’t easy either, playing against an incredible player like Verdasco,” said Sonego, who advanced to his second semi-final at tour-level following his triumph at the Antalya Open in June. “I have a good feeling and I enjoy every moment here. It won’t be easy against Thiem but I will try my best and then we will see.”
Ruud continues good run of form
Earlier in the day, Casper Ruud of Norway knocked off No. 4 seed Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay, winning 6-3, 7-6(4). The 20-year-old Oslo native showed a solid performance with aggressive shots from the baseline. Ruud broke his opponent’s serve two times to seal victory in one hour and 36 minutes.
“This year I have been able to achieve many good results in a row,” said Ruud, who is making his first appearance in Kitzbühel. “It’s great, as I am playing well. The tournament is amazing. They do everything they can for the players and it is such a nice Centre Court. It is really good to play here.”
Ruud, who joined the team at the Rafa Nadal Academy last year and broke into the Top 100 in March, is still coached by his father Christian, also a former professional on the tour. “He is currently at home, relaxing a bit. My family is very involved in tennis. We travel a lot together and he was also here during the first days of the week but I have two sisters and he also has to be with them sometimes,” he commented with a smile.
Ruud will next face Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The in-form Spaniard, who arrived in Tyrol following his second triumph on the ATP Tour at the Swiss Open Gstaad, defeated French veteran Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4 after one hour and 14 minutes.
Photo Gallery (by Brigitte Urban)