Dominic Thiem says he is no machine and that he had physical problems in his surprising fourth round loss against Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open.
The 2017 semi-finalist, Bulgarian Dimitrov, dismantled the US Open champion 6-4 6-0.
During the season you have those matches where you just have the ball in your hands and today was one of those matches, said Dimitrov, the 18th seed.
He will have to get past Aslan Karatsev, who knocked out Felix Auger-Aliassime.
They were joined in the quarter-finals by sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany, who defeated Dusan Lajovic of Serbia 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-3. He will face the winner of Sunday’s match between Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic, the world number one.
The seeded Djokovic expressed doubts about his physical fitness after suffering an abdominal injury in the previous round.
A very bad day for Thiem.
Tim, who finished second last year, gave no information about his physical problems and said he would not apologize.
But the fact is, I’m not a machine either. I mean, sometimes I wish I could, but there are really, really bad days, the third finalist said.
I think it was a combination of several things, some minor physical issues, plus a really bad day, plus the fact that he’s a great player. So a combination of those three things, and that kind of result can happen.
Tim endured a gruelling five-set battle against Nick Kyrgios on Friday, which he fought out in two sets, but there was no respite against Dimitrov on Sunday.
The Austrian seemed to have taken the lead with a break in the first set, but Dimitrov immediately fought back and won four sets in a row on his way to winning the first set.
The same pattern occurred in the second set – a break from Thiem followed by a rally from the 29-year-old before he took the final set at the Rod Laver Arena in just over two hours.
I tried to fully concentrate on what I’m doing, said Dimitrov, the former world number three. Maybe he was struggling with something, I don’t know, but I give myself credit for staying focused.
Karatsev The qualification in the fairy tale continues
Aslan Karatsev was among the top 250 in the world before the coronavirus pandemic.
Karatsev of Russia overcame a two-set deficit to record another impressive victory and advance to the quarter-finals.
The 27-year-old number 114 of the world defeated 20th seeded Canadian Auger-Aliassime 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
After beating eighth-seeded Diego Schwartzman in the previous round, Karatsev was the surprise of this year’s Melbourne Park event.
He made his debut in the quarterfinals for the first time in 25 years.
Karatsev, who has been injured his entire career, had failed in nine previous attempts at a grand slam, but at the ATP Cup earlier this month he was described by world number 4 Daniil Medvedev as Russia’s secret weapon.
He amply proved this by reaching the fourth round without a set loss and then staging an incredible comeback against Auger-Aliasime in the top five of his career to secure a meeting with Dimitrov in the last eight.
I’m ready to take on anyone, said Karatsev, who is the first man since Alex Radulescu in 1996 to reach the top-eight in his Grand Slam debut.
Meanwhile, British interest in singles may have ended with Cameron Norrie’s elimination against Rafael Nadal on Saturday, but a mixed doubles match was won in Melbourne on Sunday.
Neil Skupski and Andrea Klepac of Slovenia defeated John Pearce and Belinda Wolcock of Australia 6-2 5-7 (12-10) in the first round.