Fixture: Dominic Thiem vs Vitaliy Sachko*
Date: 27 October 2020
Tournament: Erste Bank Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Vienna, Austria
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €1,409,510
Match timing: Not before 5.30 pm local time, 10 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony ESPN
*Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Dominic Thiem would be playing Kei Nishikori in the first round. However, Nishikori has now withdrawn from the tournament and has been replaced by Vitaliy Sachko in the draw.
Dominic Thiem vs Vitaliy Sachko preview
Defending champion Dominic Thiem will begin his campaign at the 2020 Erste Bank Open on Tuesday, against lucky loser Vitaliy Sachko.
Thiem was initially slated to play Kei Nishikori in the first round. But the Japanese pulled out with injury at the last minute, opening up a space for the 453-ranked Vitaliy Sachko.
Thiem is enjoying the most successful year of his career. The 27-year-old Austrian advanced to the final of the Australian Open earlier in the season, before winning his maiden Grand Slam at the US Open.
Thiem was expected to be one of Rafael Nadal's biggest challengers at Roland Garros given his ability on clay. However, physical and mental fatigue took its toll and he was defeated by Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.
With the ATP Finals on the horizon, Dominic Thiem will be hoping to find some form on the indoor hardcourts.
Vitaliy Sachko, on the other hand, is a largely unknown player on the ATP tour. The 2020 Erste Bank Open will, in fact, be the Ukrainian's first ever participation in the main draw of an ATP event.
Sachko mainly plies his trade in the Challenger and Futures circuits, where he hasn't been too prolific either. The 23-year-old has no main draw Challenger wins so far in his career.
That said, Sachko did defeat World No. 82 Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round of qualifying in Vienna, which was the biggest win of his career by far.
Dominic Thiem will be the highest-ranked player Vitaliy Sachko has ever faced, and by some distance.
Dominic Thiem vs Vitaliy Sachko head-to-head
The head-to-head between Dominic Thiem and Vitaliy Sachko currently stands at 0-0. This is the first time they will be playing each other.
Dominic Thiem vs Vitaliy Sachko prediction
Dominic Thiem has been in exceptional form since Flushing Meadows, where he won the title despite struggling with his fitness. The Austrian, who can generate a tremendous amount of power off both wings, has improved his hardcourt game in recent years and is now a genuine threat on the surface.
Vitaliy Sachko is unlikely to be taken lightly by Thiem, given that the Ukrainian defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert and ran Norbert Gombos very close. Nevertheless, the gulf in the level of Thiem and Sachko will make matters very tough for the latter.
Dominic Thiem might get off to a slow start but once he finds his feet, he should be able to make short work of Vitaliy Sachko.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in straight sets.Published 27 Oct 2020, 12:18 IST