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Rublev wins Thiem’s own Tennis tournament after Besting the Austrian

Andrey Rublev bests Dominic Thiem at the THIEMs 7 Tournament in Austria.

By Ricky Dimon

Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev were two of this season’s best players before the coronavirus pandemic halted the tour in early March. They were also the two best players this week in Austria.

Thiem and Rublev met in the final of Thiem’s exhibition event, and it was not the hometown hero who emerged with the winner’s trophy. That piece of hardware belongs to Rublev, who defeated the Austrian 6-2, 5-7, 10-8 on Saturday night.

Multiple rain delays prevented a full third set from being played. In a decisive super-tiebreaker, it was Rublev who had the upper hand the whole way. He seized a quick mini-break for 4-2, changed sides again with a two-point lead at 7-5, extended his advantage to 9-6, and then capitalized on his third match point at 10-8.

The Russian thanked Thiem on his social media channels, posting the following message: “Thank you so much @ThiemDomi for inviting me to compete at your event #Thiems7 it was an amazing week and a great feeling to play again [heart emoji]”.

Rublev holding the THIEMs 7 trophy Saturday night.

The four-day extravaganza also included semifinalists Roberto Bautista Agut and Matteo Berrettini. Thiem beat Bautista Agut 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-2 in the semis, while Rublev battled past Berrettini 6-4, 7-6(6).

Rounding out the field of eight were Karen Khachanov, Jan-Lennard Struff, Casper Ruud, and Austria’s own Dennis Novak.

It was good clay-court preparation for the participants as official tour tournaments in Madrid, Rome, and Roland Garros are still on the schedule. Of course, a hard-court season that features Washington, D.C., “Cincinnati,” (in New York) and the U.S. Open is scheduled to take place prior to the European clay-court swing. It remains to be seen how many top players compete in the virus-plagued USA–Thiem included.

“First of all, it’s cool that the French Open is taking place,” the world No. 3 said. “No matter whether in May or October. The only problem is there are only two weeks between the U.S. Open and the French Open–it will be almost impossible to get far [at both]. I have to sacrifice one of the two Grand Slams; that’s the way it is right now.”

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.