Thiem crushes Zeballos to reach quarter-finals

Updated: 

Dominic Thiem is yet to drop a set at the French Open after dispatching Horacio Zeballos 6-1 6-3 6-1 on Sunday to march into the quarter-finals at Roland Garros. 

Seeded sixth for the second grand slam of the year in Paris, the 23-year-old has been in sparkling form on clay in 2017, ending Rafael Nadal's 17-match unbeaten run in Rome last month.

He could yet prove a major obstacle in the Spaniard's quest to claim a 10th title in the French capital.

Thiem will face Albert Ramos-Vinolas or reigning champion Novak Djokovic, his 2016 semi-final conqueror, in the last eight.

Zeballos progressed to this stage after David Goffin suffered a freak injury in their third-round match, the Belgian tripping over the court covers on a day of intermittent rain on Friday.

But the beneficiary of that incident proved out of his depth against Thiem, who steadied himself after giving an early break straight back to Zeballos, the Argentine failing to hold throughout the opening set.

Thiem demonstrated formidable control and variation, combined with athletic court coverage and a deft touch at the net, to take complete control of the contest. 

Zeballos lifted early in the second set, the first four games staying on serve until the world number 65 sent successive rally balls long to hand a crucial break to Thiem, who promptly held to love in his next two service games and broke again to take the set.

Another crucial break arrived in the second game of the third, Thiem swatting away a Zeballos second serve with an impudent backhand down the line. 

The power and accuracy of the Austrian made it one-way traffic as the match progressed, Thiem taking a 5-1 lead when his deep, punishing forehands forced Zeballos to net a rally ball and give up another break.

All that was left was for Thiem to serve out, fittingly producing an ace to take it on his first match point.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Thiem [6] bt Zeballos 6-1 6-3 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Thiem - 24/17
Zeballos - 18/27

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Thiem  - 4/5
Zeballos - 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Thiem - 7/12
Zeballos - 1/3

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Thiem - 58
Zeballos - 67

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Thiem - 92/46
Zeballos - 51/33

TOTAL POINTS
Thiem - 88
Zeballos - 51