Dominic Thiem was made to work hard on Wednesday at the Gijon Open, but he found a way to reach the quarter-finals at the ATP 250 event in Spain.
In a hard-fought clash, the Austrian battled past American Marcos Giron 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 to advance to his fourth tour-level quarter-final of the season after two hours and 27 minutes.
“It was a very intense match,” Thiem said in his on-court interview. “Long, long rallies and lots of running. It was so close throughout the whole match until the third set. At the end of the second set, anything could have happened. I had to save a break point at 4-4 in the second set, if he makes it he is probably going to be the winner.
“It was so close the match, but luckily I was able to win that second set and then running away at the beginning of the third. I am really happy. It was so close, so intense. A great night.”
After a slow start, Thiem opened his shoulders to overpower Giron. He recovered from squandering a break advantage in the second set, eventually forcing a decider when Giron struck a double fault on set point. The 29-year-old then raced through the third set to improve to 13-13 in tour-level matches in 2022.
Thiem, who downed Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-0 in his first-round match in Gijon, will next meet fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo or French qualifier Manuel Guinard.
In other action, fifth seed Tommy Paul moved past Spanish qualifier Nicolas Alvarez Varona 6-3, 7-6(3) in one hour and 53 minutes. The American, who is playing in his first tour-level event since the US Open, will next meet top seed Andrey Rublev or Ilya Ivashka.
Sebastian Korda ensured the United States tasted more success at the ATP 250 event on Wednesday when he defeated Jaume Munar 6-4, 6-1. The 22-year-old did not face a break point on serve, advancing to his fifth tour-level quarter-final of the season after one hour and 31 minutes. Korda will next face third-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.
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Second seed Pablo Carreno Busta made a strong start in Gijon, sweeping past Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 7-6(3) to earn his first match win since the US Open in September. The Spaniard, who captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Montreal in August, will next play Arthur Rinderknech after the Frenchman downed countryman Constant Lestienne 6-4, 6-2.
Argentina Pedro Cachin also advanced, edging qualifier Alexey Vatutin 7-6(2), 6-0. He will next take on form World No. 1 Andy Murray.