World No. 5 Dominic Thiem aims for his first semi-final at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna on Thursday when he takes on Pablo Carreno Busta.
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Dominic Thiem looks to improve to 7-0 over Pablo Carreno Busta and reach a maiden semi-final in Vienna when the pair clash in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Before this week, Thiem had an underwhelming 8-8 record in Vienna from nine previous appearances, with his best results coming in 2013 and 2018 when he made the quarter-finals. Other than that, it’s been four second round defeats, one opening round loss and an exit in qualifying in his debut appearance in 2010 for the Austrian enforcer, but Thiem is looking strong so far at the 2019 Erste Bank Open, opening his campaign with a straight sets dispatch of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before coming from a set down to conquer Fernando Verdasco – someone who he had lost to in all four of their previous meetings.
At this stage, it certainly appears as if Thiem has returned to some of his best tennis after a tough American summer, where he was forced to withdraw from Cincinnati and lost in the opening round of the U.S. Open to Thomas Fabbiano. Thiem also battled illness as he lost to World No. 163 Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland in Davis Cup, but he bounced back superbly during the Asian swing, beating Andy Murray, Karen Khachanov and Stefanos Tsitsipas to capture his fourth title of the season in Beijing, while he also made the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters, securing his spot at the ATP Finals in London as a result.
Overall, it’s been yet another high-quality season for Thiem, who has registered a 42-16 record, winning his maiden Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells, capturing two more clay-court title in Barcelona and Kitzbuhel and finishing runner-up at the French Open for the second year in a row to Rafael Nadal. Traditionally, Thiem has struggled with fatigue and burnout at this stage of the season – that’s one of the primary reasons for his poor record in Vienna. Can the Austrian put together a big end to 2019?
Pablo Carreno Busta (PA Images)
He comes up against a man he has beaten in all six of their previous encounters in Friday’s quarter-finals. Pablo Carreno Busta is making just his second appearance in Vienna after a second round exit in 2017, with the Spaniard advancing to the quarter-finals courtesy of a straight sets victory over recently-crowned Stockholm champion Denis Shapovalov before recovering from a set down to outlast Mikhail Kukushkin by a 6-7(3) 6-4 6-1 scoreline on Thursday.
After recovering from some injury problems and tearing up the Futures circuit during the 2013 season, Carreno Busta established himself as a top 100 and top 50 player over the next few years before taking his game to another level during a career-best 2017 season, reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final at the U.S. Open, making the quarter-finals of the French Open (where he scored his first top 10 win over Milos Raonic) and winning his third ATP World Tour title on the clay of Estoril, adding two the pair of trophies he captured in Moscow and Winston-Salem the previous year. Carreno Busta made the top 10 towards the end of 2017, but his ranking dropped to No. 24 by the conclusion of the 2018 season, and he hasn’t been back in that bracket since, actually dropping to as low as No. 69 in August. The Spaniard has improved that ranking to a current mark of No. 34 after winning his first title of 2019 in Chengdu and reaching the Stockholm semi-finals last week.
As mentioned, Carreno Busta has a horror record against Thiem, losing all six of their past matches, including a few weeks ago in Shanghai. Thiem has never cleared his hurdle in Vienna, but he has been playing well this week and over the last month in general. That coupled with his dominant record over Carreno Busta should see him make a first semi-final at the Erste Bank Open.
Thiem vs Carreno Busta ATP Vienna live streaming, preview and tips – Thiem 6-0 over Carreno Busta as he targets first Vienna semi-final
World No. 5 Dominic Thiem aims for his first semi-final at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna on Thursday when…
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