Dominic Thiem lost a battle to fellow former No. 3 Marin CIlic, with the Croat winner celebrating his 34th birthday with a win in Tel Aviv, defeating the Austrian 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4.
The pair each own a US Open title, with Cilic claiming his in 2014 while Thiem lifted the trophy in 2020.
The Austrian’s ranking has dropped to 173 after more than a year of wrist injury problems; Thiem lost in the Open first round a month ago and has then reached a Challenger final in France and gone out in the second round of a pair of ATP events this month.
Cilic sent over 15 aces in his defeat of the wild card after losing his first four matches in the series with the Austrian.
“I think it was a fantastic match. I think it was an amazing, amazing level,” Cilic said after reaching a quarter-final for the first time since June at Queen’s Club, London
“It was a fantastic birthday!”
Thiem had to work, saving nine of the 13 break points he faced in the losing effort.