ATP Stuttgart: Dominic Thiem advances to the semifinal with win his victory over Mikhail Youzhny
ATP Stuttgart: Dominic Thiem advances to the semifinal with win his victory over Mikhail Youzhny

Dominic Thiem is building quite an impressive season on the ATP World Tour. The Austrian has now advanced to the semifinal in Stuttgart after defeating Mikhail Youzhny in three sets. 

Needing to claw back from being down a set, Thiem used a heavy mix of his impressive serve and forehand to claim a 3-6, 6-4, 7- 5 victory. He will now face Roger Federer in the next round. 

Rocky beginnings 

The Austrian got off to quite a rocky start. Youzhny, broken in his first service game, stormed back to break the young Thiem twice. 

The Russian took advantage of several double faults by Thiem on the day. The young player appears to now be going for faster and more powerful serves this grass-court season, and it seems to have increased errors on his serve. All told, he would double-fault nine times in the match. Three double-faults in one game helped Youzhny secure one of his breaks. Youzhny, a 2002 champion in Stuttgart, would go on to win the first set 6-3. 

Mikhail Youzhny of Russia celebrates winning a game in his match against Aljaz Bedene of Great Britain during day five of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 11, 2016 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Mikhail Youzhny of Russia celebrates winning a game in his match against Aljaz Bedene of Great Britain during day five of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 11, 2016 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Cleaning it up

The 22-year-old Thiem cleaned up his serve in the remaining sets. His increasing willingness to serve and then volley with players has added a dangerous dimension to his game. That was on display in his match against Youzhny. In the second set, the young Austrian would fire a serve and Youzhny, stumbling but returning the ball in play, barely had enough time to level himself before Thiem was at the net with strong volley play. 

Dominic Thiem is showing an increasing ability to serve and volley on on grass. (Photo: Getty Images)
Dominic Thiem is showing an increasing ability to serve and volley on on grass. (Photo: Getty Images)

He used the strong serve-and-volley technique to stave off any threats in the second set, as he faced no break points. In the final game of the set, Thiem managed to break the Russian. His second set victory (6-4) sent the match to a third and decisive set. 

The two held serve throughout the final set before Thiem turned on the jets in the 12th game.

With his opponent leading 6-5, the Russian and former top 50 player needed his best service game to stay in the set. He didn't get it. Thiem returned his serves with relative ease to get himself back in the point. To end the match, Thiem sent a powerful forehand that pounded the grass and flew by his opponent.

Thiem, calling this victory his best on the grass surface, can surely top that if he beats his opponent in the semifinal- world number three Roger Federer.  

VAVEL Logo