Date: 2 February 2021
Tournament: ATP Cup
Round: Group Stage
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: AUD $4,500,000
Match timing: Not before 11.30 am Melbourne time, 6 am IST
Live telecast: Tennis Channel - USA | Eurosport - India
Dominic Thiem vs Matteo Berrettini preview
The ATP Cup kicks off on Tuesday, and it will see most of the top men's players in action.
World No. 3 Dominic Thiem comes into the new season as the strongest challenger to the duopoly of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The 27-year-old is fresh off a good training block at home during the off season, and he also played in the 'A Day at the Drive' exhibition on Friday - where he lost to Nadal in straight sets.
With the Grand Slam monkey finally off his back, Thiem is likely to play with more confidence and authority in 2021. And he will look to get things started on the right note with a strong performance at the ATP Cup.
Thiem is scheduled to open his ATP Cup campaign against Mattero Berrettini, the current World No. 10. Berrettini had to deal with injuries and poor form for most of the 2020 season; his best performances among the six tournaments he played last year were the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters and the fourth round of the US Open.
The Italian started off his 2021 season by reaching the quarterfinals of the Antalya event, where he suffered his ninth successive loss to a player ranked lower than him.
Dominic Thiem vs Matteo Berrettini head-to-head
Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini have met on four occasions on the ATP Tour, with their head-to-head deadlocked at 2-2.
The Austrian won their very first encounter, in the third round of the 2018 French Open, in four sets. But Berrettini won two of their three meetings in 2019 - at the Shanghai Masters and the ATP Finals (both in straight sets) - with Thiem clinching the encounter at Vienna in three sets.
Dominic Thiem vs Matteo Berrettini prediction
Although their head-to-head is tied at 2-2, the fortunes of Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini have gone in dramatically different directions over the past 12 months. While Berrettini has struggled due to injuries and loss of form, Thiem has gone from strength to strength.
The Austrian reached his first hardcourt Slam final in Australia 12 months ago, and followed that up with his first Grand Slam at the US Open. He is also looking a lot more comfortable in the spotlight now, and all things considered he should be expected to win this encounter.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in straight sets.