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By Alberto Amalfi | Thursday, October 24, 2019

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem topped Fernando Verdasco for the first time in five meetings 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 charging into his 11th quarterfinal of the season in Vienna.

Photo credit: Erste Bank Open ATP Vienna Facebook  

Dominic Thiem was boosted by thousands of screaming supporters and burdened by one ominous obstacle in Vienna.

Winless in four prior meetings vs. Fernando Verdasco, Thiem turned the tables with a final-set charge.

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The top-seeded Austrian won 12 straight points on serve sealing a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach his 11th quarterfinal of the season in Vienna.

In a stirring serve performance, Thiem served 71 percent and won 38 of 42 points played on his first serve.

Thiem has emerged as a quarterfinal king on tour. Over the last three years, Thiem has reached an ATP-best 49 quarterfinals, which is six more than second-place Rafael Nadal.

Thiem advanced to his third career Vienna quarterfinal before a packed crowd that included 1995 French Open champion Thomas Muster.

The Roland Garros runner-up had struggled to solve Verdasco's lefty topspin forehand crosscourt into his one-handed backhand wing in dropping all four of their prior meetings, including a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 loss in Rome in May.

Repelling a barrage of topspin forehands to his one-hander, Thiem drew a stray forehand breaking for a 3-1 second-set lead.

That break loosened up the home favorite as Thiem streaked through 12 straight points on serve to snatch the second set and force a decider.

Battering Verdasco from the baseline, Thiem took a 4-0 lead in the decider winning 28 of the last 29 points played on his serve. 

Verdasco dropped to 1-9 in his last 10 matches vs. Top 10 opponents.

Thiem improved to 42-6 on the season. Taking aim at his fifth title of the year, Thiem will play another Spaniard, Pablo Carreno Busta, in the quarterfinals.

Carreno Busta converted five of six break points rallying past Mikhail Kukushkin 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-1 in two hours, 16 minutes. 

The 34th-ranked Spaniard topped Kukushkin for the third time in as many meetings and now plays for a personal breakthrough. Thiem has won all six prior meetings vs. Carreno Busta, including a straight-sets win in Shanghai earlier this month.

Diego Schwartzman edged a stubborn Sam Querrey 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(5) to reach the last eight for the second time in three years. Querrey fought off five match points, including three in a row from 2-6 down in the tie break.

The 5'7" Schwartzman converted his sixth match point withstanding 23 aces from the 6'6" American to earn a grueling two hour, 40-minute victory.

No. 5-seeded Schwartzman will take on second-seeded Karen Khachanov in a quarterfinal clash that will be their first meeting in two years. 



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