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Thiem ends Verdasco jinx to reach Vienna quarters

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Thiem ends Verdasco jinx to reach Vienna quarters
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - China Open - Men's Singles - Final - National Tennis Center, Beijing, China - October 6, 2019. Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates winning the match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. REUTERS/Thomas Peter   -   Copyright  THOMAS PETER(Reuters)
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VIENNA (Reuters) – Home favourite and top seed Dominic Thiem beat Fernando Verdasco for the first time to reach the Vienna Open quarter-finals on Thursday.

Thiem, this year’s French Open runner-up, had a rocky start as Verdasco broke in the first game of the match before taking the opening set 6-3.

However, the match changed completely in the second set as the Austrian took control. He did not lose a point on his serve and created four break points of his own, converting one to level the contest.

Thiem raced into a 4-0 lead in the third set and took the match 3-6 6-3 6-2 as he ended a run of four straight losses to the Spaniard.

“I played against him in Rio, Rome, Paris and Wimbledon. But never with this incredible support like here,” said Thiem, who will face Verdasco’s compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta in the last eight on Friday.

“In the first set, everyone saw that I had never won against him, that’s why I was struggling. But the good service games gave me more confidence and that made me even better against his serve.”

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, seeded fifth, also clinched a quarter-final spot, beating Sam Querrey 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(5) despite the American’s 23 aces. Schwartzman will next face second seed Karen Khachanov.

(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)

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