Thiem the Man to Beat in Vienna
Posted on October 24 2018
Top seed Dominic Thiem came through his first round match up against Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans 7-5 7-6 to set up an exciting encounter with American Sam Querrey in the second round. Other winners in Vienna included Kei Nishikori, Fabio Fognini, Borna Coric, Kyle Edmund, and Kevin Anderson.
World number 7, Thiem will face Sam Querrey in the second round, with the American having beaten Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a tight contest 6-3 3-6 6-3. Thiem and Querrey have played on three previous occasions, with Thiem winning two and Querrey one with their last battle resulting in a 3 set win for Thiem.
Thiem, who suffered a shock loss in his last run out in Shanghai to Australian Matthew Ebden will be looking to rediscover the form that saw him win the title in St Petersburg in September as well as making the US Open quarterfinals. Thiem is almost certain to feature in the ATP Tour Finals next month, so he will want to build up some confidence before then.
Should Thiem win his second round match he will face a very difficult matchup in the quarterfinals, with world number 11 Kei Nishikori taking on last week’s Kremlin Cup winner, Karen Khachanov. This promises to be the best matchup of the second round and will be well worth tuning in for. Russian Khachanov has a slight advantage over Nishikori having won their last two meetings, and he is certainly in good form after his victory last week.
In the bottom half, last week’s Antwerp winner Kyle Edmund put in a competent performance to take down Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in a tight 6-3 7-6 win and will now face Spain’s 34-year-old Fernando Verdasco. Verdasco, who came through against France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-7 6-3 6-4 will be looking to go a step further than he did in Stockholm last week by making the quarterfinals in what will be the pair’s first meeting.
Runner-up in Shanghai, Borna Coric takes on defending champion Lucas Pouille as he looks to continue his push towards the top ten in the rankings. Victory for Coric would potentially lead to an interesting quarterfinal matchup against 6ft 8inch South African Kevin Anderson.
Anderson will face Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer in the second round, a match which Anderson will be a strong favorite to win given his consistency this year. A matchup between Anderson and Coric would be the fourth meeting for the pair, with Anderson currently leading the head to head 3-1. Coric, who is just 21 years old did win the last meeting in Cincinnati this year 2-6 6-4 7-6 though, and this could go either way.
If the tennis in Vienna isn't enough for you this week then there's plenty more action to keep your eye on. There's also men's action in Basel, and the women are in Singapore.
The women's end of season tournament in Singapore is well underway, with the ladies currently competing in the group stages, check out the results here.