Dominic Thiem missed his most important win to date after a long-running injury Wednesday night. The 29-year-old from Lower Austria faced the world number 16 in Tel Aviv. Marin Cilic definitely has a chance to advance to the quarter-finals. Finally, on his 34th birthday, Cilic gave himself a win 6:7 (6), 6:2.6:4 after 2:43 hours. This was the first win for the Croatian in the fifth confrontation with TIM.
Tim wasn’t able to take another big step toward returning to the top 100 as hoped. There is now a one-week break from the former world number three tournaments, after which he has increased his tight autumn program ahead of Vienna: he will play in Gijon from October 10, in Antwerp from October 17 (both ATP 250 tournaments), before returning to Vienna in the week Next up at Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
Tim managed the first break of the game, the score was zero to make it 3:2, and he confirmed it by a 4:2 margin. But then Cilic made it 4:4 and then the first set went into a tiebreak. In the tight Jeu decisif, Tim used his second chance to win the set to 8:6 after about 70 minutes.
The second round didn’t go to Tim’s taste at all. He had to give up his serve immediately in the opening match and quickly went down 4-0 after another loss on serve. And in front of Cilic’s strong serve with two behind, the third set quickly declared itself. Thiem was out of reach, several mistakes in himself and a powerful Cilic made the Croatian draw 6-2.
In a duel between two former winners of the US Open, Tim made his first three saves in the 0:40 minute and stopped the passive run from the second set. At 3:2, Tim missed his first break opportunity in this round to 4:2 and then had to drop serve himself to make 3:4.
The initial decision should be in favor of Cilic, who has regained his strength this year. He couldn’t let this feature disappear. The Croatian reached the semi-finals of Roland Garros in 2022 and was in the round of 16 in the Australian and American openings.
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