Competing in the 20th ATP tournament of his young career, talented Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas scored one of his most significant victories in Barcelona 2018, toppling the 3rd seed and the last year's finalist Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 20 minutes for the first ATP 500 semi-final!
It was their third meeting of the season and the first triumph for Stefanos, who used the fact that Dominic struggled in both previous matches in Barcelona. The Greek defended his second serve in the best way and did a lot of damage on the return to reach the last four in dominant style.
Tsitsipas lost 16 points in nine service games, facing only two break points and getting broken once to put the pressure on the other side of the net, with Thiem failing to match those numbers behind the initial shot. The Austrian lost almost half of the points in his games, suffering four breaks from eight chances given to the youngster and finishing his run in the quarter-final.
Dominic was off to a better start, but that didn't last for long, dropping the opener's last five games and sending momentum to the other side of the net. The same scenario occurred in set number two, with Stefanos rattling off every game from 2-1 down to celebrate a huge win and continue his excellent run.
Tsitsipas needed some time to find the rhythm, hitting a backhand long to drop serve in the first game and missing another routine shot in game two when Thiem cemented the break.
Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets in Barcelona 2018.
The Greek fired a strong serve to fend off a break chance in game three and avoid an even more significant deficit, gathering momentum and changing the course of the set from that game.
Dominic held with ease in game four to move 3-1 up, but that was all we saw from him in the opener, wasting three game points at 3-2 to get broken and lose the advantage after a loose backhand landed wide. A service winner delivered the first lead for Tsitsipas at 3-3, earning another break in game eight after his rival's double fault.
The Greek ruled the court now, bringing the ninth game home with a forehand winner to secure the first set and move closer to the finish line. Nothing could separate them in the first four games of set number two, and Stefanos raced into a lead at 2-2 when Thiem sprayed another forehand error.
It gave the youngster an even more significant boost, hitting three winners in game six to open a 4-2 gap. The last year's finalist lost the ground completely, dropping serve at love in game seven after another error and suffering a loss in the next one.
Stefanos fired a backhand down the line to forge the most significant triumph of his career up to that point, rattling off the encounter's last 14 points to reach the semis in style!