Dominic Thiem is the second seed in his home country tournament from Vienna. He is motivated to get into form on hard courts, as World Tour Finals are close. He was the fourth player to qualify for London.
The Austrian had a satisfying year overall, but a bit disappointing on hard courts, as his game suits better for clay.
Thiem met in the opener the Next Gen star, Andrey Rublev. He started the match great, breaking the young Russian from the first try. But after claiming the first 2 games, Rublev regrouped and took the next 3.
It was a fierce fight from the get go, with thrilling rallies and spectacular shot-making. Andrey’s flaws are his serve, which is too flat, predictable and inconstant, and his lack of patience. He was trying to hit decisive from every angle. Thiem waited and built each point until he could attack and close the point.
Dominic was the one who was leading the rhythm. The Austrian was in charge, even though he had some moments in which he lost his composure. He came to the net successfully quite often for such a defensive player and made winners from backhand slices, volleys and spectacular drop shots. Thiem was the one who was changing the direction, rhythm and the one who took the bigger risks.
The Austrian used often his superb backhand, slicing or hitting it hard down the line or crossing, making it a lethal weapon to open the court and to finish the points. He deservedly took the first set, 6-4.
During the second set, we could notice another weak spot of Rublev, the volley. He made a lot of errors from the net and his attacking game seemed pretty low, coming to the net unprepared. Thiem made a lot of unforced errors as well, but much more winners. He took an unassailable lead, 4-1, and never looked back.
The score doesn’t show it, but it was a hard fought win for the Austrian, claiming it 6-4, 6-3.
Elsewhere, Kevin Anderson had to win his match in order to keep his Word Tour Finals hopes alive. But he was unable to reproduce his US Open form, looking apathetic, uninspired and without composure. He fell in straight sets to qualifier Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-4, 6-4.