Austrian Dominic Thiem will continue his French Open charge when he takes on Alexander Bublik in the second round on Thursday.
One of the contenders for the title, Thiem had to come through a tough first round encounter. American Tommy Paul was his opponent. Thiem dropped a set but picked up the win courtesy of a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 scoreline. Paul kept up the competitiveness till the third set, but Thiem ran away with it in the fourth. Thiem made just two unforced errors in the fourth set and hit ten winners. The game finished in 2 hours and 31 minutes. It was not the ideal match for Thiem, but he won’t care much as long as he gets the win.
“It was difficult, but I didn’t expect at all an easy match,” Thiem said. “I wasn’t playing my best today, that’s for sure. He was playing amazing then. It was very, very close. And of course, the key moment of the match was the tie-break in the third set.” Paul let a 4-0 lead slip in the tie-breaker to hand Thiem the initiative.
The Austrian’s recent form on clay has been excellent, and he should be confident ahead of the second round match. Thiem has lost just two of his last ten matches on this surface. He reached the final at the French Open previous year, where he lost to Rafael Nadal. Thiem has made the third round of a Grand Slam 8 times in his last ten tries.
He will come up against Alexander Bublik for a place in the third round. Bublik faced German Rudolf Molleker in the first round. He clinched a 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-1, 7-6(2) win in 2 hours 34 minutes over Molleker. It was Bublik’s first game in the Roland-Garros main draw, and he was impressive. Molleker won the third set on a tie-breaker, but Bublik held his composure to progress to the second round.Embed from Getty Images
His recent form is not great, though. Bublik lost his first game in both the Lyon Open and the Heilbronn Challenger. Aged just 21, his highest ATP ranking was 90 which he achieved this month. Bublik’s main strength is his serve, and that was visible against Molleker. Bublik won 82% of the points on his first serve, and 71% of points on his serve overall. He hit a whopping 30 aces in the game.
Dominic Thiem vs Alexander Bublik Prediction
Bublik will be aiming to make the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. His raw power will give him a chance against Thiem, but he lacks the experience to pose a significant threat. Thiem will be the favorite to get the win. Bublik will not make it easy, especially in the early stages. His powerful serving will mean that Thiem will find breakpoints hard to come by early on. But the Austrian should prevail as time passes and progress to the third round in four sets.