Nordea Open: Thiem overcomes Bautista Agut to reach first quarterfinal of season

Dominic Thiem of Austria added one more win to his first tour-level victory in 14 months as he defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the quarter-finals at the Nordea Open on Thursday.

Thiem backed up his first-round win in this event and came up with an impressive performance to overcome Bautista Agut 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-4 to reach the last-eight stage here.

The Austrian, who defeated Emil Ruusuvuori on debut in Bastad earlier this week, played with great intensity and power throughout his two-hour and 41-minute clash against the fourth seed to come back from losing the second set to script a crucial win.

“It is great to play here,” Thiem said in his on-court interview. “It is an amazing atmosphere and I am so happy that I won today so I can have at least another match tomorrow. It was really good.

“The win against Emil gave me confidence that I can compete against the best players in the world and today against Roberto. He is always such a tough opponent. I was expecting and hoping it would be a close match. Then when I won the first set in the tie-break I said ‘Hey, I can win today.’ I had the belief until the end of the match and the third set was really good,” Thiem was quoted as saying in a report on the ATP Tour website.

The 28-year-old missed the second half of last year due to a wrist injury and arrived at the ATP 250 clay-court event in Bastad holding a 0-6 tour-level record in 2022. However, he has shown signs of promise on the clay in Sweden to reach his first tour-level quarter-final since Madrid in May 2021.

Thiem will next play Argentine Sebastian Baez or Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as he looks to continue his run.

“It is a process. I beat Ruusuvuori and today I beat Bautista Agut. Two really top opponents, so if I can beat them I am definitely back,” Thiem added. “I am into the quarters of a really strong tournament, so I am happy. It is a process, but I am going the right way.”

In a tight match, Thiem rallied from a breakdown in the first set and then played with more freedom in the third set, opening his shoulders to hit through the court and improve to 2-4 in his ATP head-to-head series against the fourth seed Bautista Agut.

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