World no. 3 and the Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem will have to revisit the drawing board ahead of the next week's US Open. In his first official match since February, the three-time Major finalist suffered one of the toughest losses in a career against Filip Krajinovic in New York, with the Serb scoring a 6-2, 6-1 victory in 61 minutes.
Back in June, Dominic and Filip had battled for the title at the Adria Tour in Belgrade. The Austrian claimed that one but was nowhere near that form on Monday, playing way below his usual level to suffer an early loss. Filip came to New York with a 13-14 score at the Masters 1000 victory, scoring one top-10 triumph from 17 encounters and dominantly changing all that against Thiem to advance into the third round.
In his best serving performance ever, Krajinovic dropped two (!!) points behind the initial shot, drawing momentum from there and having all the space he needed to attack on the return. On the other hand, Thiem lost over half of the points in his games, never finding the rhythm and dropping ten out of 11 final games to propel Filip through.
The Serb grabbed four breaks, playing better and better as the match advanced to set the clash against Marton Fucsovics, the one he should win as well if he keeps this level. The Serb had 17 winners and nine unforced errors, leaving a pale rival far behind as Thiem counted to 30 unforced mistakes, the most from his forehand.
Firing a service winner in almost 40% of all of his points on serve, Filip had a massive 42-22 advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, forging a 21-8 lead in the more extended once to seal the deal in style. Krajinovic held at 15 in the first game, landing a service winner at 1-1 for a hold at love and repeating that in game five to remain in front.
Dominic Thiem won just three games against Filip Krajinovic in Cincinnati.
Staying in touch up to that moment, Dominic sprayed a forehand error in game six to suffer a break, allowing Krajinovic to open a 5-2 gap with a hold at love.
From 40-15 in the eighth game, the Austrian dropped four straight points to hand another break and a set to his rival, having to raise his level significantly if he wanted to fight for the win. Continuing where he left in the opener, Filip held at love in the first game of the second set, converting the third break chance in game two and producing another hold at love for a 3-0 lead.
Thiem's drop shot error pushed the Serb 4-1 ahead and the match was about to finish soon after that, with Krajinovic earning a break in game six and moving over the top with three winners a few minutes later for one of the most impressive triumphs in a career.