Fixture: [AUT] Dominic Thiem vs [FRA] Gael Monfils
Date: 4 February 2021
Tournament: ATP Cup 2021
Round: Group stage
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Match timing: Approx. 11:30 am Melbourne time, 6:00 am IST
Prize money: AUD 4,500,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | India - Eurosport
Dominic Thiem vs Gael Monfils preview
Dominic Thiem suffered a shock 6-2, 6-4 defeat to Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday, which led to a 1-2 loss for Austria against Italy in their opening fixture of the 2021 ATP Cup.
Thiem's hopes of making the semifinals are currently dangling by a thread, and his team will need France to do them a favor before the two teams lock horns on Thursday.
France first have to negotiate the challenge of Italy on Wednesday. Austria will be hoping for France to win that tie, because an Italy win will mean both France and Austria are knocked out.
The chances of Italy topping the group are fairly high, seeing how both of France's singles players have been highly inconsistent for the better part of a year. Gael Monfils last won a tennis match in February 2020, while Benoit Paire has lost 10 of his last 14 matches dating back to the 2020 Australian Open.
If Italy do indeed beat France, the match-up between Gael Monfils and Dominic Thiem (and also the entire France vs Austria tie) will effectively become a dead rubber. But with the Australian Open looming large, Dominic Thiem will look to get as much match practice as possible under his belt. And the match against Monfils will be Thiem’s last chance of playing competitively before he launches his bid for the year’s first Major.
Dominic Thiem vs Gael Monfils head-to-head
Dominic Thiem leads Gael Monfils by a whopping margin of 6-0 in the head-to-head rivalry. Monfils has managed to win just two sets (Umag 2015 and ATP Finals 2016) in six matches against Thiem, and none in their four fixtures since 2016.
Dominic Thiem vs Gael Monfils prediction
Dominic Thiem suffered a brutal defeat in his opening fixture, where he looked out of rhythm for the most part. But a repeat of that result is unlikely on Thursday given that Gael Monfils hasn’t displayed any semblance of form since tennis resumed in August last year.
It is difficult to predict Monfils' level on a given day; the 34-year-old is one of the most mercurial players on tour. It is even trickier to do so now, since we haven't had a glimpse of his game in a very long time.
Dominic Thiem nearly staged a comeback in the second set against Matteo Berrettini, and he will likely find his feet quicker against Monfils. The Frenchman can be expected to enthrall the audiences for a while with his scintillating tennis, but he may not be able to outlast Thiem if the match goes the distance.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in three sets.