Fixture: (1) Dominic Thiem vs Lloyd Harris
Date: 16 March 2021
Tournament: Dubai Tennis Championships
Round: Second round (Round of 32)
Venue: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,897,805
Match timing: Approx. 8.30 pm local time, 10 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Dominic Thiem vs Lloyd Harris preview
Top seed Dominic Thiem will begin his Dubai Open campaign on Tuesday when he faces Lloyd Harris in the second round.
Harris defeated Christopher O’Connell in his first-round match on Monday, coming from a set down to win 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-1.
After a disappointing Qatar Open campaign that saw Thiem win just one match, the Austrian will look to turn things around in Dubai. He was seemingly plagued by a foot injury in Qatar, but after his defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut, Thiem assured everyone that the issue wasn't serious.
The World No. 4's did put up a poor serving performance in Qatar though, particularly on the second serve. Against Bautista Agut, Thiem won just a third of his second serve points and conceded 11 break points throughout the match.
But Thiem later claimed he was satisfied by his performance in Doha overall, and that he would look to build upon his momentum in Dubai.
It remains to be seen if the Austrian’s season goes on an upward trajectory from here onwards, given that his favored claycourt season will begin soon. But first, he will look to get past Lloyd Harris in Dubai without too many hiccups.
Harris is on a three-match win streak in the Middle-Eastern city, which includes a couple of qualifying-round victories. The South African was also impressive in Doha last week, where he ousted Stan Wawrinka in three sets.
Dominic Thiem vs Lloyd Harris head-to-head
The head-to-head between Dominic Thiem and Lloyd Harris is currently tied at 0-0; this will be their first match against each other on tour.
Dominic Thiem vs Lloyd Harris prediction
Lloyd Harris has a potent first serve, and he can also strike his forehand flat and hard. But Dominic Thiem can match anyone on tour for power, and is unlikely to be overly worried about Harris' big weapons.
The Austrian might be more concerned about his foot, in the hope that it doesn’t play spoilsport during his service games. If Thiem is unable to serve at full strength, he will have to rely heavily on his groundstrokes to win him points - which is always a gamble on quick hardcourts.
Thiem does have his defense and foot speed as backup though, which should enable him to keep the ball in play long enough. The Austrian's variety might also play a pivotal part in this fixture, as Harris can get unsettled if not allowed to get into a rhythm.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in straight sets.