Grigor Dimitrov entered last-eight of Australian Open with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 victory over U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem at Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. Thiem started brightly and took an early 3-1 lead in the first two sets but 18th seed Dimitrov bounced back strongly and won both sets with the identical scoreline of 6-4. The Bulgarian then won the third set to love to knock last year’s runner-up Thiem out of the tournament.
Thiem, who came back from two sets down to beat Nick Kyrgios in the third round on Friday, looked tired and couldn’t capitalise on his early lead. The Austrian made an uncharacteristic 41 unforced errors. Of 30 points in the third set, Dimitrov won 24 including five aces. Meanwhile, Thiem could only win 27 per cent of his first serves in the third set and hit 11 unforced errors. Dimitrov didn’t make even one unforced error in the third set.
After his impressive victory, Dimitrov said, “Throughout every season you have one of those matches where you keep the ball rolling. He might have had a problem, I don’t know, but I also give myself some credit for staying in there. He’s an extraordinary player so I’m happy with the win.”
Grigor Dimitrov will meet Aslan Karatsev in the quarter-finals on Tuesday. Karatsev, ranked 114th in the world, beat 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime on Sunday after trailing two-sets-to-love. Dimitrov looked forward to the match on Tuesday and commented, “If you’re there, it’s for a reason, whether it’s a fairytale or not, you’ve got to be ready, It’s going to be a battle.”