The young Austrian dynamo Dominic Thiem has been at the forefront of the tennis world this past week for all the right reasons.
The 24-year old broke Rafael Nadal's 50-match winning run on the clay in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open, in-fact Thiem was the last man to defeat the Spaniard on the surface at the 2017 Rome Masters.
Thiem did eventually go on to succumb to an even younger prodigy in the sport - Germany's Alexander Zverev - in the tournament final in Spain's capital, the world number 3 defeating Thiem in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
A ninth career ATP tour title was achieved earlier in 2018 as Thiem claimed the Argentinian Open, just a few weeks after a shock round four elimination in the Australian Open to American underdog Tennys Sandgren.
Quarter-final appearances in the Rio Open, Mexican Open, the Monte Carlo Open AND the Barcelona Open in the opening months of the season has kept Thiem at a consistent eighth place in the world rankings, but a slight drop from his previous peak position of number four in November 2017.
And today Thiem was back in action at the aforementioned Rome Masters, the same tournament he dethroned Nadal at back in 2017, but was up against it against Fabio Fognini.
Fognini had his home-country crowd behind him, and when he went three set-points up against Thiem, it was clearly too much for the Austrian to take.
Following a shot that Thiem sent far and wide past Fognini's baseline, the former was so incensed that he swung his racquet to the ground, and clearly one swing wasn't enough as he continued to destroy it on the clay.
Despite the furious outburst, Thiem did at least send a fan home with a precious souvenir, as he threw the now unusable racket to a spectator to take home.
It was brilliant to see that in what was clearly a frustrating moment and match for Thiem, he was able to make a supporter's day by handing them a unique piece of memorabilia.
Fognini went onto see out the match to advance to the last 16, whilst Thiem will prepare for the Lyon Open in France next week, in preparation for a tilt at the prestigious French Open in Paris at the end of the month.
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