Two days ago, the last year's Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem prevailed over Nick Kyrgios in five sets, overcoming two sets to love deficit to reach the last 16. The Austrian couldn't find the same drive today on Rod Laver Arena following a convincing 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 loss to Grigor Dimitrov in two hours and one minute!
Dimitrov, the semi-finalist here four years ago, played on a very high level from start to finish to seal the deal in style against an empty rival, getting broken twice and converting seven out of 15 break chances to control the result.
Both players hit 25 winners, and it was Grigor who kept the errors under command, spraying 18 of those and taking full advantage of 40 that came from Thiem's racquet. Outplaying the rival completely, Dimitrov had the upper hand in the shortest and more extended exchanges to move over the top and book the quarter-final meeting with Aslan Karatsev.
The opening set lasted for almost an hour, with five straight games with at least one deuce and break chances. Dominic drew first blood with a break at 15 in game four following Dimitrov's backhand error, wasting numerous game points in the next one for the first setback and a break back for Grigor thanks to a crafty drop shot.
Grigor Dimitrov defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets in Melbourne.
The Bulgarian saved a break chance in the next one and opened a 4-3 gap after the Austrian's loose forehand. Serving for the set at 5-4, Grigor fired a service winner to bring it home after 57 minutes, earning a massive boost ahead of set number two.
Fighting for every point, Thiem saved five break opportunities in the second set's opening two games and forged a 3-1 advantage with a forehand down the line winner. Dimitrov pulled the break back in the next game following Thiem's forehand error and saved a couple of break points in game six to level the score at 3-3.
From 4-3 down, the Bulgarian grabbed 12 of the next 13 points, racing towards the set and destroying his opponent mentally. Grigor broke at 15 in game nine and sealed the set with a hold at love for a 6-4, 6-4 advantage after 100 minutes.
After that, Thiem had nothing left in the tank, winning only six points in the third set and suffering a bagel to propel Dimitrov over the top and into the last eight.