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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday April 6, 2023

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem eased past Ben Shelton to book a spot in the quarterfinals at Estoril.

Photo Source: TTV

He came in with a string of deflating losses trailing him, but Dominic Thiem has some pep in his step after notching consecutive wins on his beloved red clay.

Tennis Express

The former World No.3 took out American Ben Shelton on Thursday at the Estoril Open, 6-2, 6-2, and with that victory the two-time Roland-Garros finalist has now notched back-to-back wins for the first time in 2023.

Thiem has also doubled his win total on clay from 2022 – he won one of three matches on the surface last year.

The Austrian owns a 156-63 lifetime record on clay with ten titles, and he’ll bid for win No.157 in the quarterfinals on Friday against Frenchman Quentin Halys.

“I’m playing better and better, just the results in the first quarter of the year were not there,” Thiem said on court after his win, adding: “but this part of the season, I love it, the European clay-court season. I have a big short-term goal to reach the main draw of the French Open – every match win, all the points are helping me, so quarterfinals is a good first step.”

Halys defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(5), 7-5 on Thursday to reach his third ATP quarterfinal and first on clay.

The World No.80 also earned his first Top 50 win on clay.

In other action on Thursday No.2-seeded Hubert Hurkacz lost at the first hurdle to Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles. The victory over the 12th-ranked Pole marks the Zapata Miralles’ biggest career win by ranking.

Sixth-seeded Miomir Kecmanovic was also a winner on Thursday – he strolled past Jurij Rodionov 6-0, 6-1 in 63 minutes.


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