Dominic Thiem scored the biggest win of his career defeating Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round at the Madrid Masters on Tuesday. For the 20-year-old Thiem, who needed to qualify into the event, it marked his first career Top 10.
“I cannot really believe it,” Thiem said. “I was in this famous zone during the match. I was really unbelievably concentrated. I think that’s the way how you can play these very good matches, if you are 100 per cent concentrated and 100 per cent out on the court.
“Of course I was a little bit nervous, but it wasn’t the reason for the first set,” Thiem said. “His pace was just too high for me.”
Wawrinka, who had reached the Madrid finals and had won Monte Carlo last month, credited the young Austrian.
“I was hesitating with my game and he went for it and deserved to win,” said Wawrinka. “He’s a good player. We all know that. We all see that, especially since the beginning of the year. I’m not surprised because I know him.”
After beginning the year ranked No. 139, Thiem is currently at a career-high No. 70 and will move higher still.
Other winners on the day were Milos Raonic, David Ferrer, Ernests Gulbis, Nicolas Almagro and Kei Nishikori while Fernando Verdasco dropped a 3-setter to improving countryman Roberto Bautista Agut.
“Because of the altitude [in Madrid],” Raonic said. “The courts are a little bit quicker and bouncier as well, especially as it can get quite warm. They’re conditions I’ve played well in in the past and felt comfortable in.”
Seeds Tommy Haas and Fabio Fognini were both mild upset victims.
In the women’s draw, Maria Sharapova overcame a 4-1 final set deficit to turn away Christina McHale to win 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. The Russian has won 42 of her last 45 matches on clay, the only losses coming to Serena Williams.
Also on Tuesday, Petra Kvitova, Sloane Stephens and Sam Stosur were also 3-set winners. Li Na won in two.
Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal opens his title defense and good friend Juan Monaco. Former champion Andy Murray is also in action against Spaniard Almagro. Serena Williams returns against Peng Shuai.
WEDNESDAY MADRID SCHEDULE
MANOLO SANTANA start 11:00 am
WTA –  S Halep (ROU) vs [WC] L Arruabarrena (ESP)
WTA –  S Williams (USA) vs S Peng (CHN)
Not Before 3:15 pm
ATP –  R Nadal (ESP) vs J Monaco (ARG)
ATP –  M Youzhny (RUS) vs F Lopez (ESP)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – N Almagro (ESP) vs  A Murray (GBR)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs  J Jankovic (SRB)
ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO start 11:00 am
ATP – K Anderson (RSA) vs  T Berdych (CZE)
ATP – A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs E Gulbis (LAT)
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA –  C Wozniacki (DEN) vs R Vinci (ITA)
WTA – S Kuznetsova (RUS) vs  A Radwanska (POL)
ATP –  J Tsonga (FRA) vs [Q] S Giraldo (COL)
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