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Dominic Thiem vs Guido Pella Argentina Open tennis live: Thiem going for seventh straight win in Buenos Aires

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 16 Feb 2018
  • Dominic Thiem vs Guido Pella is live from Buenos Aires around 8.30pm local time on Friday (11.30pm GMT)
  • Pella has won two of their three previous meetings, but Thiem won their last match at the Australian Open last month
Dominic Thiem (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

Unbeaten at the Argentina Open, top seed Dominic Thiem continues his quest for a seventh ATP clay court title on Friday when he takes on local hope Guido Pella in the quarter-finals in Buenos Aires.





Dominic Thiem and Guido Pella clash for the second time this season as they square off for a ticket to the Argentina Open semi-finals on Friday night. Thiem prevailed in straight sets at the Australian Open last month, but it’s Pella who actually leads their head-to-head 2-1 after registering two previous straight sets victories over the Austrian at tour-level, including last season on the hardcourts of Chengdu and in 2016 on the clay of Rio de Janeiro, which will give the Argentine confidence for this battle. Nevertheless, Thiem will come into this match as the strong favourite as he searches for more glory on his favourite surface. Thiem and Pella take to court around 8.30pm local time on Friday (11.30pm GMT).

Back on his beloved clay, Thiem will be hoping for some successful weeks during the Golden Swing so he can take some confidence to the two big hardcourt Masters 1000 events coming up shortly at Indian Wells and Miami. Thiem has proven his credentials as a top five player on clay over the last couple of years, but he’s still trying to solidify himself as a genuine top 10 player on other surfaces - as illustrated through a poor loss to Tennys Sandgren in the Australian Open fourth round last month - but for the moment, he can focus his attention to what he does best, and that’s winning tennis matches on clay.

Thiem’s muscular brand of tennis and heavy topspin forehand is perfect for the dirt, and the Austrian enforcer got his Argentina Open campaign off to the perfect start earlier this week when he accounted for Horacio Zeballos 6-4 6-3 to book his spot in the quarter-finals. Thiem has fond memories of the Argentina Open - where he now has a 6-0 record - with his only other previous visit to the tournament resulting in him beating Rafael Nadal and Nicolas Almagro in back-to-back third set tiebreaks en route to the title.


With that in mind, along with Thiem’s superb 84-30 record on clay (74 winning percentage), you’d be a brave man to bet against the World No. 6 in Buenos Aires this week. All of Thiem’s highlights in 2017 came on clay, including winning the title in Rio de Janeiro, finishing runner-up in Barcelona and Madrid (his first ATP Masters 1000 final) and making the semi-finals of Rome (defeating Rafael Nadal) and the French Open (defeating Novak Djokovic) - can he create some more special Argentina Open memories this week?

Guido Pella (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Guido Pella has been a solid ATP player for quite a long time now, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 39 in 2016 on the back of reaching his first tour-level final at the 500-level event in Rio de Janeiro (beating Thiem  and John Isner before losing to Pablo Cuevas in the final), while he made his second ATP final last season on the clay of Munich, going down to Alexander Zverev. Can the Argentine beat Thiem for the third time and perhaps propel himself into a position to claim a maiden ATP crown in his home tournament this week?

Pella’s other highlights in 2017 included a semi-final run in Chengdu - where he also beat Thiem - and a quarter-final showing in Sao Paolo, but other than those tournaments, the Argentine enjoyed more success on the Challenger Tour, winning the title in Milan and Bucaramanga, along with a semi-final finish in Heilbronn - all coming on clay.

The 27-year-old launched his 2018 campaign on the hardcourts of Doha and played some great tennis to reach the semi-finals before going down to Andrey Rublev in a deciding set tiebreak, while he was bundled out in the first round of the Australian Open by Thiem in straight sets. Pella is back on his preferred clay this week, with a three-set win over compatriot Nicolas Kicker and a straight sets victory over former top 10 player Fernando Verdasco earning him a place in the quarter-finals.

Pella has proven he can beat Thiem twice before and on clay, but it’s hard to bet against the Austrian in these ATP 250 events on clay. Thiem knows these are the tournaments where he has the best chance of winning ATP titles at the moment, and as such, he puts everything he has into them. There’s a chance an inspired Pella playing at home could so some damage, but Thiem is the man to beat during this entire Golden Swing, and he should prove too strong on Friday night.


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Dominic Thiem vs Guido Pella Argentina Open tennis live: Thiem going for seventh straight win in Buenos Aires

Unbeaten at the Argentina Open, top seed Dominic Thiem continues his quest for a seventh ATP clay court title on Friday when he takes on local hope Guido Pella in the quarter-finals in Buenos Aires.

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