Dominic Thiem and rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime meet for the first time, with a US Open quarterfinal berth on…
Dominic Thiem and rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime meet for the first time, with a US Open quarterfinal berth on the line.
Dominic Thiem vs Felix Auger-Aliassime | US Open men's singles R16 | 7/9/2020Under 35.5 total games 2.55 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Thiem vs Auger-Aliassime is live from New York on Monday 7 September, time TBC
Second seed Dominic Thiem continues to erase memories of his ‘Cincinnati’ defeat to Filip Krajinovic with a solid US Open campaign, which has taken him into the last 16 via a four-set victory over 2014 champion Marin Cilic.
The Australian Open finalist has his sights set on a second US Open quarterfinal appearance but must navigate the potentially tricky challenge of facing Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 20-year-old having his best run yet at Grand Slam level, on Monday.
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Thiem vs Auger-Aliassime: Head-to-head
Dominic Thiem and Felix Auger-Aliassime have never played.
Thiem vs Auger-Aliassime: Preview
Solid has been the word for Thiem’s US Open campaign so far, despite a shock defeat to Krajinovic in the Austrian’s only warm-up tournament in ‘Cincinnati’. Neither Jaume Munar, who retired after two sets, nor Sumit Nagal can have been said to pose a real challenge, but despite some lacklustre form in recent seasons, 2014 champion Marin Cilic is always a threat – although he didn’t look like it in the first two sets.
Cilic raised his level significantly in the third set, however, and Thiem, giving up a break at just the wrong moment, was never able to retrieve it. Overall, however, the way that Thiem negotiated the tight, tricky first half of the fourth set to get ahead spoke volumes about how much winning the world no. 3 has done over the past 18 months in particular, and how confident he is in his ability to find his best tennis when needed.
Thiem hasn’t really hit top gear at the US Open yet – but then, he hasn’t had to, and that’s more or less what you want as a top seed through the first week.
With Vasek Pospisil or Alex de Minaur waiting if he reaches the quarterfinals, this is all coming together nicely for Thiem to make his deepest run so far at the US Open – he has made only a solitary quarterfinal before, which partly has to do with taking time to find a way to produce his best tennis on hard courts, but mainly to do with how exhausted the over-scheduled Austrian tends to be after clay season – as long as he can impose his authority on Auger-Aliassime in this fourth-round clash.
It’s felt as if Auger-Aliassime was overdue for a deep run at a Grand Slam, but actually this is only the fifth main draw at a major the 20-year-old Canadian has played. Auger-Aliassime’s rise up the rankings has actually been quite meteoric, and he’s had some bad luck with injuries and draws at the majors – having to face Ernests Gulbis in the first round of the Australian Open in January is a perfect example.
Auger-Aliassime made his fourth and fifth ATP Tour finals in February in Rotterdam and Marseille, and he has dropped just one set on his way to the fourth round in New York, against Thiago Monteiro in the first round. His performance against Andy Murray in the second round was justly praised, although Murray was obviously not anything like his pre-hip surgery self, and Auger-Aliassime also didn’t skip a beat against Corentin Moutet. But what can he do against a vastly more experienced opponent, a man whose physical fitness and muscular baseline power make him a formidable prospect over the best-of-five sets especially?
Auger-Aliassime is 2-10 vs top-10 players, and both those wins came over Stefanos Tsitsipas. Against a player like Thiem, who stays so far behind the baseline and hits such a heavy ball, I’m not sure what Auger-Aliassime’s plan will be; he’ll have to find ways to attack the net and be not just aggressive, but proactive in point construction. It will be difficult to sustain and require a lot of physical and mental stamina, and Auger-Aliassime doesn’t seem quite up to that yet over the best of five sets. Thiem in four seems like the likeliest outcome.