Thiem, Nishikori Advance To Barcelona Quarter-finals

Dominic Thiem was impressive in a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Spaniard Jaume Munar in cold and overcast conditions on Thursday at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

Third seed and 2017 finalist Thiem, who lifted his first ATP Masters 1000 crown at the BNP Paribas Open (d. Federer), is through to the Barcelona quarter-finals for the third consecutive year. He will next face France’s Benoit Paire, the recent Grand Prix Hassan II champion (d. Andujar) or Argentina’s Guido Pella, the Brasil Open titlist (d. Garin) in February.

After an exchange of service breaks mid set, Thiem capitalised on his third break point with consecutive errors from Munar to take a 6-5 lead and then closed out the 52-minute opener when his Spanish opponent mis-timed a drop shot.

Light rain, causing slippery conditions, briefly stopped play shortly after Thiem had broken Munar for a 2-1 advantage in the second set. Munar won just three points in the next four games as Thiem completed his 11th match win of the year in 90 minutes.

Two-time former champion Kei Nishikori knocked out #NextGenATP Canadian No. 16 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-1, 6-3 in 84 minutes. The fourth-seeded Japanese star will next play Spanish lucky loser Roberto Carballes Baena, who beat Chile’s Cristian Garin, winner of the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship title earlier this month, 6-4, 7-6(2) in one hour and 55 minutes.

Seventh seed Daniil Medvedev recorded an ATP Tour-best 23rd match win in 2019 after a 6-3, 6-2 win over American Mackenzie McDonald in 80 minutes. He now plays Chilean lucky loser Nicolas Jarry, who held his nerve and played a perfect deciding set tie-break to beat former World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov, the No. 13 seed from Bulgaria, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) in two hours and three minutes. Jarry beat second seed Alexander Zverev in the second round on Wednesday.

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