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Andrey Rublev Thrashes Defending Champion Dominic Thiem on Homeground of Vienna

Andrey Rublev Thrashes Defending Champion Dominic Thiem on Homeground of Vienna

Dominic Thiem came into the 2020 Erste Bank Open with high hopes. The event allowed up to 1,000 spectators a day and Thiem was confident of defending his crown in Vienna. Things went in the right direction until he faced Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals. 

Now, Rublev has not been the same this year. The 23-year-old has been competing in the ATP tour for many years now, but 2020 by far been his most productive season.

He’s won four ATP titles in 2020 and is currently chasing his fifth. The Russian is in sublime form and he added another cap to his feather by ousting the reigning champion in front of his home fans. 

Andrey Rublev at ATP Vienna 2020
Mandatory Credit: REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Dominic Thiem posted clinical victories in the first round and hardly broke a sweat. But all the build-up led him to lock horns with Rublev and the result agonizingly went against him. Thiem came into ATP Vienna as one of the towering favorites, but Rublev stunned the 2020 US Open champion in straight sets. 

A major chunk of the confidence came through his first serve for Rublev. He clearly out-served Thiem and the statistics portray the same story. Thiem struggled to perfect his first-serve and made just 43% of them. 

Also Read: “Put Tennis on a New Level”: Dominic Thiem Calls Roger Federer the Greatest Athlete of All Time

Andrey Rublev put on a masterclass against Dominic Thiem

Thiem had faced rather easy opponents leading up to this match. Thus, when he faced a player with similar intensity as him, the Austrian struggled to convert the important points. Thiem did mention that it is a major boost to be playing in front of home fans, but that didn’t prove to be the case in the last eight. 

Both players are dominant when it comes to returning from the baseline. But Rublev showcased extra intensity to claim the victory. His fine run of form this year has given him ample confidence ahead of this match to create a massive upset and end Thiem’s winning streak in Austria (11). 

Rublev displayed tremendous grit right from the start and held on till the last point of the match. The first set was stretched to a tie-breaker which Rublev eventually edged out and won. He carried the winning momentum into the second set as well. Rublev quickly saw off Thiem 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 to send home the Austrian fans with a stroke of disappointment. 

Rublev is ranked #8 in the world, carrying a 35-7 W/L record up to this point. With this form, he can undoubtedly earn a spot in the forthcoming ATP Finals event in London.

This will be a massive achievement for the 23-year-old Russian, considering that he was ranked #23 in the World at the beginning of the 2020 calendar. Furthermore, Rublev has won every ATP event when he’s reached the semi-finals this season. Can he do it again? 

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