Thiem was not able to take another big step towards returning to the top 100 as hoped. There is now a one-week tournament break for the ex-world number three, after which he has further increased his tight autumn program before Vienna: he will play in Gijon from October 10th, in Antwerp from October 17th (both ATP 250 tournaments), before he opens the following week at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
Thiem managed the first break of the game, and it was equal to zero to 3: 2, and he confirmed this for a 4: 2 lead. But then Cilic managed the rebreak to make it 4:4 and the first set then went into a tiebreak. In the tight “Jeu decisif” Thiem then used his second chance to win the set to 8: 6 after around 70 minutes.
The second round didn’t go to Thiem’s taste at all. He had to give up his service right away in the opening game and quickly fell 4-0 down after another loss of serve. Against the strong serve Cilic with two breaks behind, a third set quickly announced itself. Thiem was off the roll, many own mistakes and a solid Cilic brought the Croatian a 6-2 set tie.
In a duel between two former US Open winners, Thiem first fended off three breakballs at 0:40 and stopped the negative run from the second set. At 3: 2, Thiem missed his first break chance in this round to 4: 2 and then had to give up the serve himself to make it 3: 4.
It should be the preliminary decision in favor of Cilic, who has regained strength this year. He couldn’t let this advantage go away. The Croatian reached the Roland Garros semi-finals in 2022 and was in the round of 16 at the Australian and US Opens.