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Gulbis, Ernests

25.01.2020 - 08:40 Uhr

Dominic Thiem matched his best showing at the Australian Open on Saturday, continuing his Grand Slam mastery against American Taylor Fritz 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 to reach the fourth round for the third time.Thiem saved six of seven break points against the 22-year-old American, who was trying to reach his first Round of 16 at a Grand Slam but must have felt like it was déjá vu against the World No. 5.Three years ago, when they faced off for the first time at the 2017 US Open, Fritz converted only two of his 18 break chances and lost in four sets.On Saturday afternoon, in warm conditions (28 degrees Celsius), Fritz again had his chances against the Austrian. But Thiem kept the 6'4” American on the move on the big points and avoided another five-setter on Margaret Court Arena. Thiem needed five sets in the second round against Aussie Alex Bolt.“I played Taylor twice at the US Open. It was twice very tough four sets and then he beat me last September at the Laver Cup... I expected a tough match,” Thiem said. “In the fourth, it was a great, close match from both of us. Really happy I broke it out there.”[MY POINT]Thiem will play for a spot in his first Australian Open quarter-final against France's Gael Monfils, who beat Latvian Ernests Gulbis 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-3. The Frenchman won 78 per cent (52/67) of his first-serve points and broke Gulbis five times. Thiem leads their ATP Head2Head series 5-0, which includes a straight-sets win at 2019 Roland Garros.“We also had great matches already, Gael and me. [He's] such a great, entertaining player, always great rallies against him,” Thiem said. “Even if you play against him on court, it's nice to see his show.”

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