Whatever happens in the days to come in Bastad, Dominic Thiem will keep a huge memory. His return from injury From the right wrist, the Austrian had failed to win a match on the circuit. 14 months he dragged his sentence sometimes seeming to be the only one to believe in a possible return to the best level. And now in Sweden, not only has he put an end to this scarcity, but he has also been able to continue. After a success over Emil Ruusuvuori in the first round (6-3, 1-6, 7-6), Thiem found the resources to overcome Roberto Bautista Agut, seeded n°4.
The two men had never faced each other on clay before and the public got their money’s worth. Thiem started very well and even got the first three break points of the match (including two in the very first game), but Bautista Agut negotiated them wonderfully. It was even the Spaniard who broke first and broke away 5-2. If we found the gestures of Thiem winner of the US Open in 2020, the efficiency, especially on the backhand side, still leaves something to be desired.
But, very slowly, the Austrian settled and his shots found themselves with this frightening power that was his signature. By starting to enter the court, which only his opponent was doing at the start of the match, Thiem began to weigh. Débreak in his pocket, he pushed Bautista Agut to the tie-break and took the lead.
As in the first round, Thiem seemed to pay for the efforts made to win the first set. Less impactful in the service (55% of points behind his first ball in this second set against 72% in the first), Thiem suffered the law of Bautista Agut who returned to height after having twice taken the service of his opponent.
Invigorated by a first victory the day before, Thiem put everything he had in this last set. His service has regained efficiency (85% of points behind his first in this third set) and, above all, his shot has regained its heaviness and precision. A few bursts in the forehand recalling his great hours, Thiem was able to break at the right time (3-2) and maintain his advantage until the end. Bautista Agut’s last ball had not yet fallen out of bounds when he was already throwing his arms up in the sky.
“I had a lot of confidence after my first lap and I needed it because it’s difficult to play. I go step by step. I am happy. I’m still under construction, but it’s better and I’m happy”dropped the winner after the match.