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Tennis

Thiem through to last eight after Karlovic win

14th March 2019, 16:16 by Simon Barlow

Dominic Thiem kept a strong focus to beat Ivo Karlovic and set up a quarter-final clash with Gael Monfils at Indian Wells.

The Austrian star overcame the veteran Croatian 6-4 6-3 in just 59 minutes to march into the last eight of the BNP Paribas Open.

It was the world number eight's first ever match against Karlovic, who is 15 years his senior and still competing at the highest level at the age of 40.

"I have so much respect from him because he's 40, still competing in the world class," Thiem said. "I was curious how it's going to be. [It] was the first match against him on the Tour, and I made two breaks in the right moment... I felt pretty confident on my own service games. That's what I transferred also to the return games after."

On Thiem's first break point of the match, with Karlovic serving at 4-5, 15/40, the Austrian stepped inside the baseline on the return of the Croatian's second serve.

That forced the world number 89 to attempt a half volley, which he could not handle, giving Thiem the set and also the momentum, and he never looked back.

"I was very focused the whole match, which helped a lot," Thiem said later. "The concentration level was very high, which makes me happy, it has not always been that way lately.

"87 percent first serve is also a very good number, I played the same as you have to play against Karlovic, I was waiting for my chances in the return game, and I was solid on my own serve games."

Thiem now faces Frenchman Monfils after he defeated Novak Djokovic's conqueror Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-0 6-2.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Simon Barlow has a wealth of journalism experience and in-depth knowledge in a number of sports. As well as his extensive football knowledge, Simon is also well versed on cricket, tennis, American Football and cycling amongst others.

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