Fixture: Dominic Thiem vs Casper Ruud
Date: 2 October 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: 11 am CEST, 2.30 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - NBC / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Dominic Thiem vs Capser Ruud preview
Dominic Thiem hasn't been able to catch a break in the first three rounds of the French Open. After having gotten past the likes of Marin Cilic and Jack Sock, he is now set to play another very tough opponent in the form of Casper Ruud.
The recently crowned US Open champion has done extremely well to adjust to the expectations at his favorite slam, especially given his nightmare draw. Thiem outplayed Cilic to open his campaign on a strong note, before saving a few set points against Sock to close out another straight-sets win.
Against Ruud, the Austrian will have to bring much of the same resolve.
The 28th seed at this year's French Open, Ruud is in the midst of a breakthrough seasons of sorts. He started 2020 with a title in Argentina, and has followed that up with several other great performances - especially since the resumption of the tour.
The 21-year-old from Norway made it to his first Masters 1000 semifinal in Rome, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. He then reached another semifinal in Hamburg, which means he has had the most claycourt match practice among all players in the draw.
Ruud plays his best tennis on the red dirt. He has a good baseline game and likes to work the points with his heavy groundstrokes, but it's his match fitness and quick movement that really make him a nightmare to play on the surface.
Ruud in fact has a lot of similarities with Thiem in terms of their well-rounded games. If anything, it's the youngster who looks to be more aggressive right off the bat, and he is also capable of doing some serious damage with his forehand.
Dominic Thiem vs Capser Ruud head-to-head
This will be the first career meeting between the two players, so their current head-to-head stands at 0-0.
Dominic Thiem vs Capser Ruud prediction
This will be the toughest test yet for Dominic Thiem in his quest for a third straight final here at the French Open. Given Casper Ruud's prowess on clay and his current form, there is no way that the third seed can take this match-up lightly.
The youngster would have also observed his opponent's game in the last few matches, seeing how back the behind the baseline Thiem stands on clay. That could play into the hands of Ruud, who doesn't have the biggest of serves; the Norwegian wouldn't have to worry about his serve being attacked with the first shot.
It will be interesting to see if he tries to do different things with his third shot, and look to end points quickly on his serve. In any case, Ruud needs to preserve enough energy to try and attack the Thiem service games.
If he can find a break or two at the start of sets, he might gain the self-belief that he seemed to have been lacking in his matches against the top players in the past.
It is hard to imagine Dominic Thiem doing anything different at this point, given that he has found a way to win matches as is. The third seed might come through in the end, but Ruud will be looking at this as his chance at a big breakthrough, and he will certainly not go down without a fight.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in five sets.Published 01 Oct 2020, 20:41 IST