The Austrian men’s tennis trio put in an excellent performance at the ATP 250 tournament in Astana. After Dominic Thiem, Sebastian Offner also mastered the first hurdle on Friday, and qualifier Yuri Rodionov also reached the quarterfinals. Offner first eliminated Hungarian Marton Fucsovics after losing the first set 2:6.6:2.6:3. Rodionov then stunned No. 2 seed Sebastian Paez of Argentina in the round of 16 with a score of 6:2,6:4 after 93 minutes.
For Rodionov, this was his fourth win in Astana after successful qualifying. It is also his biggest success so far this year. The 24-year-old from Lower Austria has only reached the quarter-finals on the tour once before, when he was only eliminated in the semi-finals on grass in Stuttgart in 2021.
Strong on big points
“I was very aggressive and tried to impose my style on him,” Rodionov said happily on the field. “In some matches I couldn’t keep myself mentally composed, but fortunately with the big points.” He also thanked the spectators who welcomed him with extraordinary strength. “I’m very grateful for this support. I don’t think it happens every day that an Austrian comes to Kazakhstan and the whole stadium supports him. I’m happy to play here again in the quarter-finals.”
Rodionov will likely return to the top 100. He had recently overcome this obstacle for the first time, but soon fell again. Something is definitely on the cards for Rodionov in the quarterfinals, where he will face No. 6 seed Adrian Mannarino of France. Rodionov won his only duel to date in three sets four years ago in the first round of the Challenger in Rennes.
Offner meets Bublik today
Austria’s current number one seed has already reached the round of 16. Offner was by no means an outsider to Fucsovics, as he is only one place behind the Hungarian in the ATP rankings. Now he has definitely surpassed him. Offner will now meet the local champion, No. 3 seed Alexander Bublik, on Saturday (2 p.m., Sky Live).
The Kazakh player made headlines a month ago with a disrespectful remark following his loss to Thiem at the US Open. “It makes me angry to help all these disabled people get their careers back,” Bublik said to himself during the game, but audibly through the television microphones. In the duel with Fucsovics, Ofner was the most consistent player. Styria used all three break points and in return saved four of six points.
Duel with Thiem?
If Offner beats Bublik, who won his only encounter with his Styrian rival in two sets five years ago in a smaller tournament in New York, a confrontation with Dominic Thiem would be possible. But there will only be a “stable duel” if Thiem also beats Marcos Giron (USA) on Saturday (12pm, Sky Live). If you continue to dream from a red-white-red perspective, a semi-final match between Rodionov and Ofner or Thiem is possible.
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