Vienna Open 2019: Dominic Thiem vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Round of 32, preview and prediction
After winning a title on clay in Kitzbuhel, Austria earlier this year, Dominic Thiem returns to his home country to feature at the Vienna Open. The 26-year-old Austrian is not only the home hope and favorite to win his 5th title of the year, but also the No.1 seed going into the ATP 500 tournament.
In a battle between different generations, Thiem takes on the veteran Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Round of 32.
Following a remarkable first half of the season, Thiem succumbed to a series of early exits post the clay season. However, determined to arrest his slide, he produced scintillating tennis to knock out the likes of Andy Murray, Karen Khachanov and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route his maiden triumph at the China Open earlier this month.
While Thiem failed to carry that momentum into the Shanghai Masters, losing to Matteo Berrettini in the quarter-finals, the 26-year old Austrian would nevertheless be oozing confidence as he looks to claim his first-ever Vienna Open title in front of his home crowd.
Thiem starts as a firm favorite against Tsonga in their upcoming clash, despite trailing 2-0 in their head-to-head. Both their past battles have come on hard courts, with their first-ever meeting coincidentally taking place at Vienna six years ago. That time around, the then 20-year old Thiem bowed out of the competition following an intense, three-set battle.
Tsonga, meanwhile, would be looking to add another title to go alongside his triumphs at Metz and Montpellier this year.
After his triumph at Beijing, Thiem has qualified for the year-end Nitto ATP Finals which means he can now play with a lot more freedom in Vienna. This tournament would also serve as perfect preparation for the Austrian ahead of the Paris Masters next week.
However, against a potentially dangerous opponent, Thiem cannot afford any letdown in his intensity levels as the Frenchman has the firepower to hurt the No.1 seed.
Will the veteran Tsonga mount a sensational upset to stun the home crowd or will the Austrian find his best tennis and book a berth in the next round? We will just have to wait and see.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win in straight sets.Published 22 Oct 2019, 10:42 IST