Thiem, Monfils, Rublev advance to Doha semifinals

Dominic Thiem earned a place in his first hard-court semifinal since 2016 when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-4 at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Thursday evening. Thiem cracked seven aces, fought off six of seven break points, and broke Tsitsipas on three occasions before advancing in one hour and 40 minutes.

“I was serving well again today and returning well,” the No. 1 seed commented. “That’s what I was working on in the offseason, so it already pays off now…. [Tsitsipas is] already so good at a young age. I think he’s going to be for sure a top player in the near future. He’s playing very well, aggressive with a good service, (and a) nice one-handed backhand.”

Thiem-Tsitsipas highlights:

Another up-and-coming NextGen player reached the semis, as Andrey Rublev beat Borna Coric 6-3, 7-5. Rublev trailed 4-2 in the second set but promptly reeled off five of the last six games.

“I was feeling the ball well,” the 20-year-old Russian assessed. “I knew since the beginning of the match that I have to try to dictate the points. I have to try to attack. I have to try to lead, but I have to try to do it with a good position. That was the key.”

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