Portuguese tennis player Gastao Elias admits it was tough losing three tight contests against world No. 3 Dominic Thiem as coming so close to beating such a star and falling short each time was extremely disappointing. Elias, now ranked at No.
532 in the world, met Thiem for the first time in Buenos Aires, in 2016. The Portuguese was inches away from stunning Thiem in Buenos Aires but he fell just short as the Austrian recovered from a set down and saved a match point to win 3-6 7-6 (7) 6-3.
That same year, Elias and Thiem faced off in a Davis Cup clash and the Austrian won 3-6 7-5 6-3 1-6 7-6 (6). At the beginning of the 2017 season, the two met in Sydney and Thiem claimed another tight win over the Portuguese 6-7 (5) 6-3 7-5.
"It is true, yes, but there was another one in which I was even closer to (beating Thiem). I played three times against Thiem and the first time, in Buenos Aires, I had a match point in the tie-break of the second set.
Then there was that one from the Davis Cup," Elias told Raquetc. "It was really tough, it was really tough ... It was kind of weird, actually. I was a break up in the fifth set, then there were those coach interruptions and it took me 10 minutes to finish a service game.
It was very tough."
Gastao Elias says wins over Juan Martin del Potro and Gael Monfils have a special place in his heart
At the Stockholm Open in 2016, former world No. 57 Elias claimed one of the biggest wins of his career when he French tennis star Gael Monfils.
A year later, the Portuguese shocked 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in Lyon -- the week before the French Open. "Not by chance, I remember moments like the victories against [Gael] Monfils and [Juan Martin] del Potro.
The Olympic Games do not come to my mind very often, but whenever I talk about it or someone remembers it, I realize that it really was an incredible moment. In fact, Isa (Elias' wife) is sometimes very excited because there are two Olympians in the family, her mother and me, but… When you are talking to someone who understands tennis, these people give a lot more value to the fact that I beat Monfils and del Potro, or a top 50, than the Olympic Games.
And if you are talking to someone who is not into tennis, of course that person values the Olympic Games much more," Elias said. Gastao Elias has been struggling with injuries over the last few years and that has taken a toll on his ranking.