Fixture: Dominic Thiem vs Diego Schwartzman
Date: 6 October 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: Approx. 3 pm CEST, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports Select / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Dominic Thiem vs Diego Schwartzman preview
World No. 3 Dominic Thiem looks to strengthen his bid for a second Grand Slam title at Roland Garros as he faces Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinal on Tuesday.
The Austrian came into the French Open with question marks around him. He had gone all the way at the US Open, and then didn't play a single clay event in the lead-up to the French - on top of which he was handed an extremely tricky draw.
But Thiem got through the early rounds in style, blowing past Marin Cilic, Jack Sock and Casper Ruud without dropping a set.
His biggest test, however, came against unlikely fourth round opponent Hugo Gaston. The Frenchman raised his game after going two sets down and with the help of a largely partisan crowd, he took Dominic Thiem the distance. The Austrian ultimately prevailed 6-4 6-4 5-7 3-6 6-3, but not before stretching himself to his absolute limit.
Thiem's next opponent, Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, is no pushover either. The Argentine is a former quarterfinalist at Roland Garros and he also reached the final of the Rome Masters last month, defeating Rafael Nadal on the way.
Schwartzman has had no issues beating his early round opponents, having not dropped a single set at Roland Garros so far. But facing Dominic Thiem will be a different ball-game altogether.
Dominic Thiem vs Diego Schwartzman head-to-head
The quarterfinal matchup in Paris is the ninth meeting between the two players, and Dominic Thiem leads the head-to-head 6-2 over Diego Schwartzman. The pair have met quite frequently since breaking out on the tour, but Thiem has won the last three.
Thiem and Schwartzman have never met at a Grand Slam event, but of Schwartzman's two wins over the Austrian, one of them came on clay - the semifinals in Buenos Aires last year. Thiem leads the claycourt head-to-head 2-1 overall though.
Dominic Thiem vs Diego Schwartzman prediction
The pair know each other very well, being good friends off the court and having played doubles together on the tour. Dominic Thiem seems to be the favorite on paper, but fitness concerns could be an issue as the 26-year-old has reached the second week of a Slam for the second time in a month.
Many had predicted that Schwartzman's small stature would be a weakness in Paris given the different conditions this year, but the Argentine has been absolutely impeccable so far. With his rapid footwork and superb timing, Schwartzman can transition from defense to offense in the blink of an eye.
Thiem on his part is undoubtedly one of the best claycourters on tour at the moment. But his growing fitness concerns, especially after his marathon against Gaston, might make things tough in another potentially long-drawn-match against a player of Schwartzman's quality.
Thiem's return position would also be crucial - something that Gaston exploited with an unusual strategy reliant on drop shots. Given Schwartzman's underwhelming first serve, the Austrian might consider standing further up the court on Tuesday.
Thiem has shown he has the mentality required to win a Grand Slam. He will now have to prove his physicality in getting through a string of grueling encounters at consecutive Majors.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in five sets.Published 05 Oct 2020, 16:41 IST