The top of the Australian Open box goes from bombshell to bombshell this Sunday. First was the classification for the quarters of the Russian Alsan Karatsev, number 114 in the world that he had never played a Grand Slam and knocked out 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime after knocking out 8th seed Diego Schwartzman. And later, Grigor Dimitrov, as unpredictable as he was dangerous, dismounted one of the big favorites, 2020 finalist Dominic Thiem. The Bulgarian, who took Roger Federer at the US Open two years ago, won with astonishing ease (6-4, 6-4 and 6-0 in two hours and a minute), to the Austrian, number three in the world, who was strangely listless.
Perhaps the fatigue of coming back from a 0-2 comeback against Australian Nick Kyrgios took its toll on Thiem. Although it is true that he was not seen in great shape neither in the Adelaide exhibition match, where a Rafa Nadal already injured in the back beat him comfortably, nor in the ATP Cup, in which he fell in straight sets against Matteo Berrettini. Thiem was coming off a brilliant 2020 in which in addition to the Melbourne final (he lost to Djokovic), he was a quarter-finalist at Roland Garros (he was beaten by Schwartzman) and a US Open champion (he beat Zverev).
Against Dimitrov, Dominic, a notable server, only won 55% of points from first serves and made 41 unforced errors, many for three sets. The Bulgarian, a good receiver, broke his serve seven times and added only 18 unprovoked errors. The point is, Grigor is good at playing against Thiem. He has beaten him, with this, four times in six games, the first in a major. Now he will face the surprising Karatsev in the quarterfinals, a round he reaches for the fourth time in the tournament (he was a semi-finalist in 2017).
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.