Serbian Filip Krajinovic stunned second seed Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-1 on Monday, losing only two service points en route to the third round of the Western & Southern Open.
“I think I started really well today. I was aggressive and I’m really happy that I’m in the third round,” Krajinovic was quoted on the ATP Tour website as saying after the game.
“I don’t think Thiem was playing good tennis today, but I took the chance and I think I deserved to win.”
Thiem was one of the leading favourites entering the tournament, especially after reaching this year’s Australian Open final, in which he pushed Novak Djokovic to five sets.
But in his first ATP Tour match since play was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thiem struggled to find rhythm against his unseeded opponent.
“I knew what I had to do. I had a good preparation with my coach. I knew that I have to play aggressive if I’d have any chance,” Krajinovic said. “I think everything went my way today.”
Krajinovic earned just the second Top 10 victory of his career, improving to 2-16 against the elite group.
He won 32 of 34 service points, breaking the World No. 3 four times. Entering the tournament, the World Number 32 had only won 61 per cent of his service points for the season.
“It was just a horrible game by myself. Didn’t play well at all. Didn’t get any rhythm. I felt like I didn’t win any points on his serve,” Thiem said.
“I had [a lot of] trouble with returning. It’s tough to understand right now, but, I will think about it and hopefully I’ll find better answers in the next days.”
Thiem is known for his aggression and his physical baseline game. But the Austrian rushed the net on many occasions, and pulled the trigger earlier in rallies than he normally would.
Krajinovic broke in his first return game of the second set, putting a backhand return at the feet of Thiem, who was serve-and-volleying. Krajinovic never lost focus, remaining solid throughout.
He served out the match at love, clinching his 62-minute triumph when Thiem wildly missed a backhand down the line.
Krajinovic will next play Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics, who beat 14th seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. It will be their first ATP Head2Head meeting.