There’s still a chance of the semi finals containing all four top seeds in the men’s draw. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer already booked their places while Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem compete on Wednesday. Thiem plays Karen Khachanov for a spot in the final four, with the Russian seeking to make his first semi final at a slam.
Thiem had not been living up to his high standards early on but showed his class with a dominant win over Gael Monfils in the previous round, 6-4 6-4 6-2. He was never in trouble and solid throughout on serve, giving up just one break in the victory. It was an extremely clean performance from Thiem, who stopped a potentially vocal home crowd from getting too much of a foothold into the match. “It was a really good match, my best match so far in this tournament,” said Thiem. “It was the first match for me at this tournament, where it didn’t have any up-and-downs. It was really solid. I’m very happy.”
Khachanov pulled off the shock victory against Juan Martin Del Potro, beating the Argentinian in 4 sets 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-3. The win guarantees him a top 10 place at the end of the tournament, a current career high. He kept the Del Potro forehand at bay while blasting off many a winner of his own, hitting 58 across the four sets. “That’s what I’m working for, to live moments like this,” Khachanov said. “When you win matches like this, you’re just happy. You’re just happy for all the efforts that you have done before, for all the matches that you played.”
Khachanov did outplay the Austrian in their only meeting so far, winning 6-4 6-1 at indoor Paris Masters – the surface that probably suits the Russian and his booming serve the most. It will be much tougher on Thiem’s favoured turf but the Russian certainly has the game to dominate this matchup still. “Here he reached three years in a row not less than the semi-finals. So for sure he’s one of the top ones on clay. But I will try to fight and let’s see.” the Russian added.
Prediction – Karen Khachanov in five sets