© Argentina Open/Sergio Llamera

Dominic Thiem advances to his second semi-final of the season with a straight-sets victory against home favourite Guido Pella.

Thiem Sets Blockbuster Monfils SF

Bedene and Delbonis to meet for spot in Buenos Aires final

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. 

 Watch Live On TennisTV

 Watch Full Match Replays

On the bottom half of the draw, Aljaz Bedene will look to advance to his third ATP World Tour final (2015 Chennai, 2017 Budapest) after upsetting fifth seed Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-4.

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).

On the other side of the net will be two-time ATP World Tour titlist Federico Delbonis, who battled past 34-year-old Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 7-5 in one hour, 25 minutes.

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.

More stories like this in: