Top-seeded Thiem only seed through to Qatar Open quarters
By SANDRA HARWITT
Jan. 03, 2018
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Top-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria is the only seeded player through to the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open.
Thiem progressed with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia on a windy Wednesday in Doha.
The Austrian served up nine aces during the match, and successfully took advantage of three of the 15 break point opportunities presented.
"I'm pleased today I'm through in straight sets," Thiem said. "(I) had two tough matches which I won both in straight sets. So I think that's a perfect start into the new year.
"If you have to fight a lot, if you have to suffer a bit, I think it's very good like this."
Thiem will play 19-year-old Greek qualifier Stefano Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals.
The 91st-ranked Tsitsipas ended fifth-seeded Richard Gasquet's hopes of winning a second Qatar Open title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the final match played on Wednesday.
Playing near perfect tennis, Tsitsipas never offered Gasquet a break point. He broke the Frenchman's serve in the sixth game of the first set and the seventh game of the second.
Unseeded Gael Monfils, a three-time finalist in Doha, beat Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.
Monfils is playing his first tournament since retiring in the U.S. Open third-round against Belgian David Goffin with a right knee injury.
"I feel happy to be back on the tour," said Monfils, who will play Peter Gojowczyk of Germany in the quarters. "I feel happy to have those two matches under my belt. Still, I can play better."
Seventh-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain was eliminated by the 39th-ranked Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Serving at 5-4 in the final game of the third-set, Rublev saved two break points to move onto the quarterfinals where he'll play Borna Coric of Croatia.
"Today I won the really tough match," Rublev said. "I think in the third set I was quite focused, was quite calm and not showing emotions. That was when I started playing a little better."
Eighth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain fell to Bosnian qualifier Mirza Basic 6-4, 7-6 (2) in a first career meeting.
Basic will play unseeded Guido Pella of Argentina in the other quarterfinal.