Australian Open: Thiem Defeats World Number 1 Nadal

Austria's Dominic Thiem celebrates after victory against Spain's Rafael Nadal during their men's singles quarter-final match on day ten of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 29, 2020. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)

Dominic Thiem made a significant breakthrough at the Australian Open on Wednesday upsetting World No. 1 Rafael Nadal 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(6) at the Rod Laver Arena.

The Austrian recorded his first Grand Slam victory against the 2009 champion in six attempts to reach his first semi-final at the opening major championship of the year. Thiem won 78 per cent of first-serve points (65/83) and struck 65 winners to earn his maiden hard-court win against Nadal after four hours and 10 minutes.

”All the match was at a very good level. We were both in good form,” Thiem told former World No. 1, Jim Courier, in an on-court interview. “We already had this epic match [at the US Open] in New York two years ago and today I had a feeling I was lucky in the right situations. The net cord was on my side. He is one of the greatest of all time, so you do sometimes need the luck to beat him.”

The Austrian, who has fallen to Nadal in the past two Roland Garros finals, has now claimed one victory against the Spaniard in each ATP Tour season since 2016. Thiem’s previous four wins against Nadal all came on clay. Since the start of the 2019 ATP Tour season, Thiem has won seven of his 10 matches against the Big 3 of Nadal (2-2), Novak Djokovic (2-1) and Roger Federer (3-0).

Thiem will face Alexander Zverev for a place in the final. The 26-year-old leads Zverev 6-2 in their ATP Head2Head series, which includes a semi-final triumph in their most recent encounter at last year’s Nitto ATP Finals.

“It will be the first Grand Slam semi-final where I’m the older player,” said Thiem. “We’re great friends and I’m really happy that he’s in his first semi-final. We know how to play each other in a Grand Slam. The atmosphere will be so nice. It’s such a nice stadium and I’m looking forward to Friday.”

Watch the highlights below:

source: ATP Tour

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