Thiem battles past Raonic in Paris, Tsitsipas through


PARIS: Dominic Thiem booked his spot in the Paris Masters third round on Wednesday by edging out Milos Raonic in a marathon encounter, while Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas also progressed.Fifth seed Thiem had to dig deep to get past Raonic 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 6-4 as the Canadian powered down 30 aces in a thunderous serving display. But Thiem, who has lost the last two French Open finals to Rafael Nadal across Paris at Roland Garros, saved nine of 10 break points to stay with his opponent before clinching the crucial breakthrough in game nine of the deciding set.“It was unbelievable today, his serve,” admitted the Austrian after winning in two hours and 38 minutes. Thiem, who reached the semi-finals at Bercy last year, will face either Belgian 12th seed David Goffin or Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the last 16.World number seven Tsitsipas continued his return to form with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 victory over American Taylor Fritz. The 21-year-old Tsitsipas struggled following the end of the clay-court season, but has since recovered and arrived in Paris having reached at least the semi-finals in each of his previous three events.He claimed a tight opening set in a tie-break before cruising through the second to book a clash with either ninth seed Roberto Bautista Agut or in-form Australian teenager Alex de Minaur.Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov saw off Monte Carlo Masters winner Fabio Fognini 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to set up a third-round clash with sixth seed Alexander Zverev. Chile’s Cristian Garin edged out former runner-up John Isner 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4) and will next face Jeremy Chardy after the Frenchman’s shock win over world number four Daniil Medvedev on Tuesday.
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