The success hoped for before the Erste Bank Open in Vienna did not materialize for Dominic Thiem.
The 30-year-old lost to German Jannick Hanfmann in the round of 16 in Antwerp after a tough battle that lasted for 2:43 hours despite 15 break points, losing narrowly 4:6, 7:5, 4:6.
Thiem started the match well and immediately had two break points when Hanfmann served, but was unable to convert either of them with an early break point. They shouldn’t be the only break balls given.
With the score 2:2, it is Lichtenwörther who swings his serve for the first time. The German takes advantage of Thiem’s many mistakes in the first half.
Thiem battles back in the second set
In the next game, the 30-year-old has the chance to replay the live break, but Hanfmann defends hard again. Thiem leaves no error on his serve and with the score at 4:5 he has two options to get back into the set. But the fifth break ball remains unused. In the end, Hanfmann was able to take the lead with a fourth set point.
In the second set, a balanced game developed as both players initially had minor problems with their serve game and were barely able to win the match smoothly. With the score at 3:2, Thiem had the first break point of the second set, but was unable to convert it either.
The second round is still exciting and reaching its climax. Thiem serves very confidently in the decisive phase and stays with the German’s serve.
With the score at 6:5, the former world number three has two more break points. On his eighth attempt, he takes his opponent’s serve for the first time and celebrates the set being tied.
Thiem can’t block a single breakaway ball
The 30-year-old was initially unable to maintain the momentum in the deciding set and immediately dropped his serve for the second time at the start due to a double fault. Thiem manages the perfect return and celebrates with a live return on the fifth attempt.
As a result, the man from Lichtenwörth is the better player, but again he cannot use two break points in the fifth game of the third set. In the next game, Hanfmann uses his third break ball on the third break and goes to the lead.
Hanfmann doesn’t let that lead get away from him and in the end celebrates his hard-fought entry into the quarter-finals.
There Hanfmann meets top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. After a bye at the start, the Greek defeated Dutchman Boteach van de Zandschulp in two sets.
After reaching the semi-finals last year, Thiem has to return to his home country early this time. The Lichtenwörther native will continue next week at the Erste Bank Open in the Wiener Stadthalle.