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Thiem vs Verdasco ATP Rome Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Thiem seeks first ever victory over Verdasco

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 15 May 2019
  • Dominic Thiem vs Fernando Verdasco is live from Rome on Thursday 16 May from 10am local/9am BST
  • Thiem is 0-3 against Verdasco
Dominic Thiem. (Photo by pressinphoto/Sipa USA)

Dominic Thiem seeks his first ever victory over Fernando Verdasco when they meet in the second round of the Rome Masters on Thursday.

This match between Dominic Thiem and Fernando Verdasco has been rescheduled from Wednesday to Thursday due to heavy rain. The winner will face Karen Khachanov later in the day on Court 1.

Thiem is also attempting to bounce back from his Madrid Open semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic, as he continues his build-up to the French Open.

Before that loss against Djokovic, Thiem had been on an eight-match winning streak, beating Rafael Nadal en route the Barcelona title- his biggest clay-court title in Europe- and stopping Roger Federer and Monte Carlo champion, Fabio Fognini in Madrid, but he came unstuck in a very tight tussle against Djokovic in the semi-finals. 

The world No. 4 held a 3-1 lead against Djokovic in the first set, and was up 4-2 in the second, but he could not hold on to the advantage in either set, and eventually fell to a 7-6 7-6 loss.

The Austrian is still without a Masters 1000 title on clay, but he does have Masters success on hard courts, having captured Indian Wells in March when he defeated Roger Federer in the final. That Indian Wells result sort of ignited a slumbering season, as he had won just three matches in four tournaments prior to that, including a second-round retirement from the Australian Open, and an uncharacteristically poor 2-2 run on South American clay.

He's been operating closer to his best in recent weeks, and will target another strong week in Rome as he continues his preparations for the French Open. Thiem reached the semi-finals at the Foro Italico in 2017, beating Nadal in the quarter finals (but suffering a crushing 6-1 6-0 defeat to Djokovic in the last four), he fell to Fognini in his opening round last season, and will be looking to avoid back-to-back second round exits when he plays Verdasco on Thursday. 

Verdasco booked his spot in the second round with a 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory over Great Britain's Kyle Edmund, fighting back from 4-6 1-4 down to take down the out-of-sorts Edmund, who has now lost five straight matches. From 1-4 down in the second set, Verdasco won 10 straight games as Edmund fell away, opening up a 5-0 lead in the decider. The Brit rallied briefly, pulling it back to 5-2, but Verdasco served out the match at the second time of asking, sealing the win on his first match point after two hours and 22 minutes.

The 35-year-old will now attempt to reach the third round in Rome for the first time since he made the semi-finals in 2010- his best outing at the tournament. He was beaten by Damir Dzumhur in the first round last season. Away from the disappointment of Rome, Verdasco has some very decent weeks last year, none more so that a runner-up finish at the ATP 500 meet in Rio, where he beat Thiem before falling to Diego Schwartzman in the final. 

He also made semi-finals in Bastad, Shenzhen and Vienna, reached the fourth round of the French Open, and ended the season at 27th- the first time since 2012 that he finished inside the top-30. He's however currently outside that bracket following a disappointing opening to 2019.

Verdasco is 12-10 for the year, with his best result being a quarter final at the ATP 250 meet in Sofia, while he also reached while he also reached the third round at the Australian Open, and the Round of 16 in Madrid.

Can he reach the third round in Rome by taking down Thiem on Thursday? The great news for Verdasco is that he owns a 3-0 record against Thiem, including a very handy 6-4 6-0 victory in their only clay court meeting in Rio last season.

Even at 35, Verdasco remains a very dangerous player, and if he gets on a roll with his serve and forehand, he can be very difficult to contain. I think he will play well, and cause Thiem problems, as he’s got confidence from Madrid, and a psychological boost with the head-to-head, but Thiem has found a good rhythm on clay over the last few weeks, and should register his first win over the Spaniard on Thursday.

Dominic Thiem vs Fernando Verdasco is live from Rome on Thursday 16 May from 10am local/9am BST

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Thiem vs Verdasco ATP Rome Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Thiem seeks first ever victory over Verdasco

Dominic Thiem begins his Rome campaign on Thursday when he plays Fernando Verdasco in the second round. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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