By Chris Oddo | Friday, August 1, 2014
Dominic Thiem performed double-duty in Kitzbühel to set up a battle of first-time finalists in the final with David Goffin.
Photo Source: Gepa Pictures
Dominic Thiem wowed the hometown fans at the Bet-at-Home Cup in Austria on Friday, winning two matches in straight sets to reach his first career final.
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After dispatching Spaniard Marcel Granollers, 6-4, 7-5, the 20-year-old then trounced Juan Monaco, 6-3, 6-1, to reach the final. The fifth-seeded Austrian had to play two matches because heavy rains on Wednesday postponed his second-round match with Jiri Vesely.
Thiem, enjoying his breakout season on the ATP Tour, had never played an ATP quarterfinal prior to this week, but he raised eyebrows with his upset of Stan Wawrinka in Madrid as well as his impressive 17-1 record in qualifying in 2014.
Thiem will face another first-time finalist in Saturday’s final, as scorching-hot David Goffin reached the final with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina.
The 23-year-old Belgian has been on a torrid run that has seen him win 19 consecutive matches and claim three consecutive Challenger titles. Today, Goffin had his run of 36 consecutive sets won snapped, but he responded to finish off Gonzalez in two hours and twenty-two minutes.
"I didn't expect to be in the final this week, 19 victories in a row is unbelievable," Goffin told ATPWorldtour.com. "I came here, not knowing how I would be physically. But this week, I have played well. I am relaxed and have developed my confidence."
Goffin, who underwent wrist surgery late in 2013, had struggled to win at the ATP level prior to this week. He entered Kitzbühel with a 3-11 record on tour.
Thiem, meanwhile, has risen from 139 in the world all the way to 50.
“What I need to do is play aggressively right from the start and show him who is the local hero here in Kitzbühel,” Thiem wrote on his Facebook page. “Because the mega fans here are such an advantage. They already made the difference a few times this week.”
Thiem, 20, is the youngest player in the ATP’s top 50.
In his first appearance at Kitzbühel, Goffin has become the first Belgian titlist since 1997 (Dewulf).
Goffin owns two victories over Thiem in 2014. One at the Aegon Classic and another in qualifying at Acapulco. The loss in Acapulco qualifying is Thiem’s only qualifying loss of 2014—and it came in a third-set tiebreaker.