After dispatching a retired tennis elder 16 years his senior, Dominic Thiem will carry his title bid into the Sunday final of the Berlin exhibition event against a teenaged tyro.
The ATP No. 3 continues to make the most of his downtime in the sport during the COVID-19 stoppage, knocking off 42-year-old former No. 2 Tommy Haas 7-6 (4), 6-3 in Saturday’s semifinal.
That win at the bett1ACES played in Hangar 6 of the former Tempelhof Airport puts Thiem into a trophy battle with Italian Jannik Sinner, aged 18 and ranked 73rd with a bullet.
European-based pros are getting in as many matches as possible with a planned re-opening of Tour tennis set for August to end the lockdown which began in March as the viurs took hold around the world.
Hamburg’s Haas, TD of the Indian Wells Masters, theatend Thiem in their match, with the Austrian forced to save a pair of set points in the first set before eventually applying the winning pressure.
In the women’s draw at the ATP-WTA event, double Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova will face Petra Kvitova for the title.
“We both really enjoyed the match. It’s really a shame that we never played against each other on the tour,’ Thiem said of his tight win over Haas.
“We both played seriously. It was a good match with a very tight first set,
“We all know how well Tommy plays. It was all about how he would recover after his Friday match (a win over German Jan-Lennard Struff).”
Haas took the defeat reassured that he can still keep up with the young guns
“It’s a shame that I couldn’t use my set balls, because then I would have at least been in the match tie-break,” he said. “There would have been a little less stress in the second set.
“But Dominic showed why he’s third in the rankings, he showed his class.
“Nevertheless, it was an incredible feeling to play at home – even if the crowd (limited to 200 by anti-virus regulations) was not very big due to the circumstances.”
Main photo:- Jannik Sinner will play Dominic Thiem in Berlin final