After defeating Vitaliy Sachko in the opening round of the 2020 Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Dominic Thiem will lock horns with Chile’s Cristian Garin next.
Garin may be known as a claycourt specialist, but Thiem is not taking him lightly. The Chilean registered an impressive victory over Stan Wawrinka in the first round, and is riding a wave of confidence right now.
Speaking to DerStandard.at, Dominic Thiem lauded Garin by remarking that the 24-year-old had ‘no weaknesses’ in his game. At the same time, the Austrian highlighted the importance of bringing the rhythm he had in the closing stages against Sachko to his match against Garin.
"I'm trying to follow suit (from my previous game),” Thiem said. “Garin is a very, very solid player, has no weaknesses and a really good backhand.”
Cristian Garin has won two titles this year, although both came on clay. The Chilean has a game perfectly suited for the slower surface and Dominic Thiem hopes to capitalize on that shortcoming of Garin’s.
"I think he feels a bit more comfortable on clay,” Thiem continued. “I want to start and make the game faster.”
Dominic Thiem was considered a claycourt specialist himself earlier, but he has improved greatly on the quicker surfaces over the years. The Austrian is fresh off his maiden Grand Slam victory at the US Open, and is keen to successfully defend his title at Vienna.
Definitely an improvement has to be made for Thursday: Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem may have defeated the 453-ranked Vitaliy Sachko in straight sets, but it was far from an authoritative performance by the 27-year-old. Thiem saw his serve broken four times, and he needed nearly two hours to overcome his inexperienced opponent.
While the match may indicate that Thiem isn't fully acclimatized to the indoor conditions yet, the Austrian thinks his preparations are going well. He revealed that he has been training well against quality opponents over the past few days.
"I've actually trained well the last few days, with really good opponents,” Thiem continued.
Having said that, Dominic Thiem acknowledged that practice sessions were not the same as competitive matches. For him, a defeat in the next round is a distinct possibility unless he improves his level.
“But a match is a completely different story, not that easy,” Thiem added. “If I play badly, a defeat can occur. Definitely an improvement has to be made for Thursday.”
Dominic Thiem plays Cristian Garin on Thursday for a place in the quarterfinals of the Vienna Open. Should Thiem win, the competition is only set to get tougher - he could face Andrey Rublev, Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic in back-to-back matches.Published 28 Oct 2020, 20:24 IST