Dominic Thiem and Pablo Cuevas met in the semi-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open. The two players were bidding for a place in the championship match of the Madrid tournament. They both reached the round having caused upsets during the week, and in the end it was the Austrian ATP world number 9 who managed to take the penultimate step on the road to the Ion Tiriac Trophy. He sealed a 6-4, 6-4 victory after one hour and 23 minutes.
The first set started with confident serving on both sides of the net and neither player was given a chance to break their opponent. The percentage of points won on both the first and second serves was very high and the first break point did not come until the fifth game, and Thiem pounced on the opportunity to take a 3-2 lead. This changed the course of the opening set.
The Austrian was playing very aggressively on his forehand, his shots reaching deep into Cuevas’ court and causing him problems. In addition, he made no double faults and this consistency was making the match an uphill struggle for his opponent. The combination was enough to give the current youngest top 10 player the first set 6-4.
The second set of the semi-final got underway with some impressive shots from both players. Even so, Dominic Thiem continued to be the better player and had several chances to break, as he had in the first. However, the Austrian was struggling to convert his opportunities to close in on victory. He wasted as many as six chances before finally winning a game on the Uruguayan’s serve to make it 5-4.
The match provided plenty of high-quality moments. Cuevas’ determination to cause Thiem difficulty led him to approach the net more frequently. This and the current world number 9’s wont to play direct tennis made for a very attractive match. However, the Uruguayan’s pride was not enough to dent the morale of his opponent, who closed the match out in two sets to seal his passage to the final.
In the final tie of the Mutua Madrid Open, the Austrian will meet Rafael Nadal and he spoke briefly about the encounter after his match: “I played him four times on clay and there is not really anything you can do against him, you can just hope that he has a very bad day tomorrow and that I have a very good day”, he said. “We are both very good clay court players, we feel very comfortable on this surface”, he added