Dominic Thiem’s debut week at the Qatar Open ended earlier than planned, with the top seed exiting in Thursday’s quarter-finals 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-4 to Robert Bautista Agut.
The US Open champion joined second seed Roger Federer in leaving the event in the last-eight stage.
The Austrian has now lost four straight matches to his Spanish nemesis dating to 2015.
Thiem went down in just under two and a half hours. The loss was a rarity for the ATP No. 4, ending a nine-match win streak against Iberian opponents which comprised 16 victories from 20 matches since Barcelona 2018.
“It was a very tough fight. Dominic is a very good player,” Bautista Agut said. “He gives 120 per cent. I tried to give more than 120 today.
“I had to play very good to beat him and it was one of the greatest players I had in front of me today.”
“I’m just enjoying the win, it was really good. I had to play unbelievable tennis, fight very hard to run a lot.