ATP Kitzbuhel: Dominic Thiem seeks first home title against Ramos-Vinolas



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ATP Kitzbuhel: Dominic Thiem seeks first home title against Ramos-Vinolas

World no. 4 and the home favorite Dominic Thiem is through to the 22nd ATP final and the first in Kitzbuhel since 2014 following a 6-3, 7-6 win over the 7th seed Lorenzo Sonego in an hour and 42 minutes. The start of the match was delayed a few times and it was a good battle once they kicked it off, with four break points in total and just three breaks of serve.

Thiem grabbed two of those, overcoming an early deficit in the second set and taking the tie break 8-6 to seal the deal in straight sets and leave the court before potential further suspensions due to rain. After seven great holds in the early stages of the encounter, Dominic stole the rival's serve at 15 with a forced error to open the gap, securing the opener with a hold at 15 a few minutes later for a 6-3 in 34 minutes.

The Italian landed a perfect return winner at the beginning of the second set to move 2-0 in front, only to spray a forehand error in the next game to lose the advantage and bring Thiem back to the positive side of the scoreboard.

Both players served well in the rest of the set, delivering excellent shots in their own service games to keep the opponents away from break chances, setting up a tie break after another lengthy rain delay. There, Sonego opened a 5-3 gap before losing the next three points, saving the match point with a backhand down the line winner before Dominic earned the crucial mini-break with a backhand winner, sealing the deal after a service winner for an 8-6 and the place in the title match.

An in-form Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas stands between Thiem and his first title at home, advancing into the second straight final after conquering Gstaad thanks to a 7-5, 6-4 win over Casper Ruud in an hour and 43 minutes.

The Spaniard had won their previous two encounters and was the better player on the court today as well, suffering two breaks and delivering four to cross the finish line and book the spot in the eighth ATP final. Still searching for the rhythm, Casper got broken in the first game when his forehand landed long, pulling the break back at 15 in the next game to avoid an early setback and once again in game four following a loose forehand from a left-hander.

The youngster led 5-2 and served for the opener at 5-3, hitting a double fault and an unforced error to give serve away and lose the momentum, squandering a set point on the return in the tenth game and losing serve a few minutes later thanks to a terrible smash that sent the Spaniard in front.

Serving for the opener, Albert held at 15 to rattle off five straight breaks and perform a great escape that gave him the boost ahead of set number two. There, he lost only five points behind the initial shot and Ruud couldn't follow that pace, surviving three break points at 3-3 before Ramos-Vinolas broke him at 15 in the ninth game, moving over the top with a hold at 15 to set the Sunday's clash with Dominic Thiem, their first since Rio de Janeiro in 2017.