Dominic Thiem kicked off the season with one victory from nine matches! Things are looking better for the Austrian in Estoril following a convincing 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Ben Shelton in the second round. Thiem defeated the young American in 63 minutes for his first quarter-final since Antwerp last October.
Shelton played his second match on European clay and could not match the rival’s pace after serving below 60% and hitting five double faults. Thiem grabbed 57% of the return points and turned them into five breaks from nine opportunities.
Dominic’s serve worked like a charm, dropping seven points in eight service games and never facing problems after the encounter’s first game. Shelton made a promising start and moved 2-0 up before dropping 12 of the final 14 games!
A left-hander closed the encounter’s first game with a service winner and earned two break chances in the next one with a perfect drop shot winner.
Dominic Thiem scored a dominant victory over Ben Shelton in Estoril.
Ben cracked a massive forehand on the first and forced the rival’s mistake to forge an early advantage.
Thiem created three break chances in the third game and seized the second with a return winner after a bad bounce to pull the break back. Ben netted a routine forehand in the fifth game to face a break point, and Dominic seized it with a drop shot winner at the net for a 3-2 lead.
The Austrian held at love in game six to cement the advantage and earned more break points after the American’s wild forehand in game seven. Shelton placed another forehand miles away from the court to experience a break and fall 5-2 behind.
Thiem served for the opener in game eight and fired a service winner for a hold at love and a massive boost. The young gun held at the start of the second set with a service winner, and the more experienced rival responded with the same shot in game two for 1-1.
Ben could not find free points with his serve in the third game and faced three break points. Dominic converted the first with a forehand down the line winner for a 2-1 advantage. The Austrian cemented the lead with a booming serve in game four and seized the fourth break point in the next one after the rival’s double fault for 4-1.
Thiem grabbed the sixth game at love with a smash winner, and Shelton served to stay in the match at 1-5. The American clinched the seventh game with a service winner, and the Austrian emerged at the top with an unreturned serve a few minutes later.