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Dominic Thiem vs Lorenzo Sonego - ATP 250 Generali Open Semifinal - Preview and Prediction

Rahul Manoj
CONTRIBUTOR
Preview
02 Aug 2019, 11:34 IST

Dominic Thiem in full flow at the ATP 250-Generali Open in Kitzbühel, Austria
Dominic Thiem in full flow at the ATP 250-Generali Open in Kitzbühel, Austria

The Prince of Clay - world number 4 Dominic Thiem continued his relentless pursuit of a first home title as he overcame Spaniard Pablo Andujar 7-6 6-4 in a close encounter in the quarterfinals. Andujar was in great form having reached the semi-finals of the Gstaad open losing to the eventual champion and fellow countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Thiem continued his love with clay having reached back-to-back French Open finals in 2018 and 2019. He wanted to gain confidence and form after his shock first-round exit in Wimbledon 2019 losing to Sam Querrey in four sets, that included a fourth set bagel.

Ahead of the US Open that commences on August 26, Thiem has had a fairly decent year, having beaten Roger Federer on a hard court to win the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, toppled the king of clay Rafael Nadal in Barcelona to eventually pocket his first title there and trounced Djokovic in a marathon and edge-of-the-seat five-set French Open semifinal.

Ahead of his semi-final with the 7th seed Italian Lorenzo Sonego, Thiem would be wary of the fact that Sonego has had a breakthrough year on tour. Sonego reached the quarterfinals of the ATP 1000 Monte Carlo Open and also won his first career title at the Antalya Open in Turkey. He would be looking to cause an upset to Thiem and spoil his plans in front of the Austrian's home crowd. 

Sonego's biggest positive is his ability to handle the pressure. He saved all eight break-points in the final set against Federico Delbonis before edging past the line in 3 hours and 36 minutes in the round of 32.

Sonego also saved 9 match points in his first twp rounds in this tournament. He has also been improving his first serve percentage steadily and that was visible in his dominating performance against Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals.

Sonego's confidence must be sky-high coming into the match having been at No.116 last year but climbed rapidly to No.56 now.

Thiem must get his service games right to prevent any chances of an upset against Sonego who has nothing to lose. Both Thiem and Sonego are meeting for the first time ever and that makes this clash highly interesting. Thiem last reached the finals here in 2014 before losing to David Goffin in three sets and would be gunning to reach the titular clash once more.

Prediction - Dominic Thiem to win in three sets

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