Thiem Sets Blockbuster Monfils SF
Dominic Thiem had never lost a match at the Argentina Open (7-0) heading into Friday evening's quarter-final against home favourite Guido Pella. And while the left-handed Pella produced an inspired performance, the World No. 6 moved into the semi-finals with a 7-6(7), 6-4 victory.
It could be déjà vu for Thiem, who is now within two matches of winning his first clay-court event of the season for the third year in a row.
After saving five set points prior to the first-set tie-break, Pella earned two set points of his own at 6/4. But Thiem simply was too good in the key moments, earning his 10th tour-level triumph of the campaign. The Austrian will face an in-form Gael Monfils, who saved three of five break points he faced to defeat Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
The Frenchman is pursuing his second tour-level title of the season, and will look to turn around what has been a lopsided FedExATP Head2Head rivalry with Thiem. The top seed has triumphed their three clashes.
Monfils and Thiem were scheduled to play earlier this season in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open semi-finals, but the Austrian was forced to withdraw due to a fever. The Frenchman would go on to claim his seventh ATP World Tour title. Thiem is attempting to continue a streak of three straight seasons with at least one trophy.
The Slovenian extended his record to 2-0 against Schwartzman in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Bedene will play the fifth tour-level semi-final of his career on Saturday, and just his second outside of Chennai (2012, 2015, 2016).
It is the first time that the left-hander has battled past the quarter-finals at the tournament, after losing in the final eight twice before (2013, 2015). Delbonis leads the pair’s FedEx ATP Head2Head series 1-0, with their only tour-level meeting coming at 2012 Barcelona.
Did You Know?
Thiem has lost a set 1-6 against Monfils in two of the three meetings in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but eventually won each of those matches.