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French Open: Thiem, Svitolina advance to fourth round

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Austria’s Dominic Thiem reacts as he plays against Norway’s Casper Ruud during their men’s singles third round tennis match on Day 6 of The Roland Garros 2020 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on October 2, 2020. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

Dominic Thiem of Austria overpowered Norwegian Casper Ruud 6/4; 6/3; 6/1 and Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina defeated Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova 6/4; 7/5 to advance into the fourth round.

The third-seeded Thiem dominated play throughout the match, pushing his opponent from side to side and clinching points with shots landing with clear space from the sidelines. He broke Ruud’s serve in the seventh game of the first set and that decided the 6-4 outcome.

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In the first game of the second set, a shot from Thiem landed close to the baseline of Ruud who felt the ball was out but the umpire ruled otherwise. Hawkeye review showed the ball was out but the error gave Thiem the first advantage that was lost. Thiem secured the break on the third opportunity and held his serves in extending the lead to 3-1. Each player held serve to 5-3and Thiem served for the set at 5-3. Ruud faced set point at 30-40 and Thiem won the game and set with a half-volley backhand winner that was applauded by his opponent.

Thiem clinched the first game of the third set with an ace that Rudd gazed at the spot for a while. The Norwegian lost his serve in the fourth and sixth games. Serving for the match at 5-1, Thiem reached match point at 40-15 but required an ace to seal the victory after 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Thiem described 21-year old Casper as one of the best players on clay this season. He is the first Norwegian to win an ATP Tour title and also the first to reach the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 tournament when he lost to Novak Djokovic in Rome this year.

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