Thiem knocked out in Bastad after quarterfinal loss to Baez

Eighth-seeded Argentine Sebastian Baez defeated Thiem 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4 in the quarterfinal clash on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Dominic Thiem

FILE PHOTO: Dominic Thiem | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Eighth-seeded Argentine Sebastian Baez defeated Thiem 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4 in the quarterfinal clash on Friday.

Dominic Thiem was knocked out of the ATP250 event in Bastad, Sweden on Friday after a three-set loss to Sebastian Baez in the quaarterfinal.

Eighth-seeded Argentine Baez took the opening set 6-2 in 39 minutes. Former US Open champion Thiem, playing his first quarterfinal since 2021 Madrid Masters, made the first move in the second set by breaking Baez’s serve in the fifth game to lead 3-2. However, the Austrian’s advantage did not last long as he failed to hold his own serve in the next game.

Serving to stay in the match at 5-4, Thiem was forced to save a match point. The second set was eventually decided by a tiebreak. Down 1-3, the 28-year-old Austrian took six of the next eight points to win the tiebreak 7-5 and force a deciding third set.

In the final set, Baez moved ahead by breaking Thiem in the fifth game before managing to serve for the match at 5-4.

“It was such a tough match. So close,” Baez said in his on-court interview. “Dominic played well today and I hope to see more of him because he is a great player, so I hope he can return to the level we know. I am happy I won today and to stay in the tournament.

“I think we both played well today, I enjoyed the fight. The tournament and the grounds are good, so I am happy to stay here. The people are so nice, I feel comfortable. I now need to recover as best as I can.”

Baez will next face Andrey Rublev in the semifinal. Second-seeded Russian Rublev defeated Serbia’s Laslo Djere 7-5, 6-4 to reach his sixth tour-level semifinal of the season.

In the other semifinal, Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta will be up against Argentine Francisco Cerundolo.

World number 339 Thiem, who had reached a career-high ranking of 3 in March 2020, returned to professional tennis in March this year after sitting out for nine months due to a wrist injury sustained at the 2021 Mallorca Championships.

On Tuesday, he got his first-tour level win in 426 days when he beat Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (5) in the opening round. Thiem followed his win over Ruusuvuori with a 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-4 victory over fourth-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the round of 16 on Thursday.

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