Dominic Thiem is in prime position for one of the best results in his career in the Madrid Open with a spot in the final there for the taking. He takes on lucky loser Borna Coric for a place in the semi finals where either Alexander Zverev or Pablo Cuevas will be waiting.
Both players had excellent victories in the last round but they came in quite different forms. Thiem had to fight hard for his three set victory over Grigor Dimitrov, winning a final set tie break to close it out 4-6 6-4 7-6(9). He had to save 5 match points in the tiebreak over all, including three straight at *3-6 down.
Meanwhile, Coric earned a second win over World No.1 Andy Murray, winning in routine fashion 6-3 6-3 to tie their head to head up at 2-2. It seemed like Murray was finally ready to make his mark on 2017 but Coric put paid to that with a strong performance although he recognised Murray was far from his best. “Obviously he didn’t play very good today. That was obvious. That’s when I said I’m going to make even more balls, make him play and see what happens. I didn’t do anything special with my tactics. I was trying to be very boring, just stay with him and try to get some errors from him.” said the Croatian.
For these two and the other quarter finalists in the top half, it will be a first for both winners. None of them have made a Masters 1000 semi final although Thiem came up against much tougher opponents than Coric on each of his previous chances to make a semi final. Thiem will be heavily favoured to finally make a semi final and should avenge his straight sets loss to Coric from earlier in the year.
Prediction – Dominic Thiem in straight sets