Fixture: (3) Dominic Thiem vs (18) Grigor Dimitrov
Date: 14 February 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021
Round: Fourth round (Round of 16)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: AUD $80 million
Live Telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | India - Sony Ten Network / Sony Liv Premium
Dominic Thiem vs Grigor Dimitrov preview
World No. 3 Dominic Thiem takes on 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday.
Thiem got his 2021 season off to a rough start, with a straight-sets loss to Matteo Berrettini at the ATP Cup. He bounced back well at the Australian Open though, registering comfortable straight-sets wins over Mikhail Kukushkin and Dominik Koepfer in the early rounds.
The third round, however, was far from easy for the Austrian. Thiem came up against local favorite Nick Kyrgios on Friday, with the entire crowd at the John Cain Arena seemingly against him.
The US Open champion failed to cope with the pressure in the opening two sets, losing them both 6-4. But he recovered just in time, overturning a two-set deficit for the fourth time in his career and eventually prevailing 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Former World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov meanwhile had been off the pace in the latter stages of 2020, but the conditions at the Australian Open seem to be suiting his game.
The Bulgarian won a potentially tricky first-round match against Marin Cilic in straight sets, before registering another comfortable win in the second round. Dimitrov then spent just 40 minutes on the court on Friday as his third-round opponent Pablo Carreno Busta retired due to injury early in the second set.
Dominic Thiem vs Grigor Dimitrov head-to-head
The fourth-round encounter at the Australian Open is the sixth meeting between the two players on tour, and Grigor Dimitrov currently leads the head-to-head 3-2 over Dominic Thiem.
All three of Dimitrov's wins over the Austrian have come on hardcourts, with the most recent being at the 2019 Paris Masters. The Bulgarian also defeated Thiem on his way to the 2017 ATP Finals trophy.
Thiem got the better of Dimitrov on clay at the 2017 Madrid Masters, and on the hardcourts of Acapulco in 2016.
Dominic Thiem vs Grigor Dimitrov prediction
Coming into his match against Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem is the overwhelming favorite on paper given his form and superior ranking. But Dimitrov's record against him on hardcourts, coupled with the Bulgarian's comfort level in the Melbourne conditions, could cause a few complications.
Dimitrov's aggressive style of tennis usually fares well on quick surfaces, and his quick-strike groundstrokes make him a formidable opponent for anyone on tour. But Thiem's raw power and incredible shot-making ability - particularly from the forehand wing - have made a considerably superior player since his last meeting with the Bulgarian.
The 27-year-old also proved his resilience and mental resolve during his comeback against Kyrgios. Although physical and mental fitness may come into the equation, if Thiem is at his best he should be able to deal with any challenge posed by Dimitrov.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in four sets.