THIEM TAKES ANOTHER TITLE IN BUENOS AIRES, ANDERSON TRIUMPHS IN NEW YORK OVER QUERREY • RICKY DIMON CALLS THIEM “DUKE OF DIRT”

Written by: on 19th February 2018
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Argentina Tennis Open
THIEM TAKES ANOTHER TITLE IN BUENOS AIRES, ANDERSON TRIUMPHS IN NEW YORK OVER QUERREY • RICKY DIMON CALLS THIEM "DUKE OF DIRT"

epa06540620 Austrian tennis player Dominic Thiem holds the trophy after defeating Slovenian Aljaz Bedene during their Argentina Tennis Open final match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 18 February 2018. EPA-EFE/David Fernandez  |
Austrian tennis player Dominic Thiem holds the trophy after defeating Slovenian Aljaz Bedene during their Argentina Tennis Open final match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 18 February 2018. EPA-EFE/David Fernandez

 

 

If Rafael Nadal is the King of Clay, Dominic Thiem is the Duke of the Dirt.

 

Clearly the second best clay-courter in the world behind Nadal right now, Thiem continued his scintillating form on the slow stuff by capturing the Argentine Open title this past Sunday. The sixth-ranked Austrian improved to 9-0 lifetime in Buenos Aires–having previously triumphed there in 2016–with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Aljaz Bedene. Thiem won the ninth tournament of his career–and seventh on clay–after one hour and 31 minutes.

 

“With these conditions–slow and hot–there are many chances for me to play well,” the No. 1 seed noted. “[Winning the title] was my goal before starting the week and it is incredible to have achieved it…. I love playing on clay. Last year I played indoors in Europe (this time of year) and they are nice tournaments, too, but here I have a better time. I wanted to win the title and any other result would not have been good. It had almost been a year since my last title, so it was time for me to do it again.”

 

“It was a great week for me,” Bedene said. “Domi played at a great level and is the deserved champion. I hope to win my first title at some point.”

 

The inaugural New York Open concluded with a much more competitive affair in its first-ever final. Familiar foes Kevin Anderson and Sam Querrey faced each other for the 16th time in their careers and it was Anderson who got the job done 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(1) after two hours and 13 minutes. Anderson earned the fourth title of his career and his first since the summer of 2015, thanks in part to out-acing Querrey 16 to nine.

 

Their extensive head-to-head series is now tied up at 8-8.

 

Anderson fought off one set point in the decider, while Querrey saved a pair on the way to a final-set tiebreaker. That’s when Anderson took control with a 6-0 lead before converting his second championship point at 6-1 by virtue of an exquisite forehand pass.

 

“One of the big goals I had for this year was to try to be a bit more successful in that final stage,” said the 6’8” South African, who is up to a career-high ranking of No. 9 in the world. “It feels great to come through and get today’s win. It gives me a lot of confidence for the year.”

 

“A couple points here and there (decided it),” Querrey explained. “The way he plays it doesn’t let you play that much because he goes so much, so you don’t really get that comfortable out there. But it could have gone either way.”

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

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