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Aslan Karatsev isn’t ‘completely new’ for the World No.5 Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem defeats Aslan Karatsev in the fourth round of Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2021.

The World No.4 Dominic Thiem defeated Aslan Karatsev and moved to the quarter-finals of Qatar Open 2021. The Austrian last took part in that Australian Open 2020, where he got knocked out in the fourth round to Grigor Dimitrov. While World No. 45 was the biggest surprise in the Grand Slam, even moved to the semi-finals. But the Russian lost to the defending champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

It is not the first face-off between Dominic Thiem and Aslan Karatsev

If Thiem had defeated Dimitrov in the Australian Open, could have faced the Russian in the quarter-finals. However, he finally faced the 27-year-old on the third day of the 250 series at Doha. It is their first official face-off, but the Austrian was not worried to face Karatsev because of their previous encounters in the junior levels. Thiem said, “We played in juniors 10 or 11 years ago, and we also practiced in Vienna, so he wasn’t completely new to me.”

Karatsev forced the Austrian star into a tie-breaker in the first set and even beat him in the tiebreaker. The Russian committed two double faults at the start of the second set, which gave an opportunity to Thiem for his comeback, then number four took the set from Aslan.`

Thiem was more composed in the third and aced the set. The match was over in an hour and 56-minutes with Thiem defeating the Russian rising star 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2. Later, World No.5 mentioned Karatsev has improved since their junior days.

Aslan Karatsev lost to Dominic Thiem in the Round of 16 of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2021.

Aslan Karatsev lost to Dominic Thiem in the Round of 16 of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2021.

Thiem said, “But he has raised his level so much in the past six months, especially last month in Australia.”

Now, the Austrian-born will face Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals of the tournament in Doha. Thiem is known for his strong serves, which the Spaniard lacks. But Bautista Agust isn’t blessed with strength like World No.5. But is an expert in cross-court backhand shots and can trouble the 27-year-old with deep shots. Moreover, Thiem just recovered from a right foot injury and a resurfacing of the issue might cause more trouble for Thiem.

If Dominic Thiem aces the quarte-finals, he will next face Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. However, Rublev moved to the semi-finals without even hitting a ball, as his opponents in the fourth and the quarter-finals walked away because of injuries prior to their matches.

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