Dominic Thiem will face home favorite Gael Monfils in the round of 16 of the French Open on Monday.
The path has not been as easy as many predicted for Thiem at the French Open. All his matches thus far have gone to four sets. He faced Tommy Paul in the first round, and Alexander Bublik in the second round. Thiem did not convince fully in either of those games, despite cantering to the win in the end. In the third round, he faced Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas. Cuevas took the second set and was threatening to make it two sets apiece. A lousy service game from him presented Thiem the opportunity to serve for the set.Embed from Getty Images
The Austrian took it with both hands and closed out the fourth set. But Cuevas caused him problems, especially with his serve. Thiem served well as well and won 77% of his points on the first serve. He has been broken seven times in the tournament so far, which will worry him and his coaching staff. Thiem is still one of the favorites for the title, but the No.4 seed will need to spruce up his game for the crucial stages of the competition.
His record at the French Open has always been excellent. Out of the four Grand Slam quarter-finals he has reached, three have come at Roland-Garros. He entered the final last year where Rafael Nadal beat him in straight sets. The Austrian has won six of his last eight matches on clay.
Thiem will come up against entertainer supreme Gael Monfils. The Frenchman is the home favorite, and the neutral fans will flock to him as well due to his personality. In contrast to Thiem, his route to the round of 16 has been relatively smooth. Monfils has won each of his three games in straight sets. He beat Taro Daniels in the first round and defeated Adrian Mannarino in the second. Monfils defeated compatriot Antonie Hoang in the third round by a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 scoreline.Embed from Getty Images
He served well against Hoang, winning 76% of his first serve points. He has played short matches compared to Thiem, which will give him an advantage in that respect. Monfils will look to make his ninth Grand Slam quarter-final. The last time he reached that stage at a major was the 2016 US Open.
Monfils has reached the quarter-finals three times at the French Open already. He will be pining to win his home Slam, however tough it may be. The home crowd will be certainly cheering for him. He has won five of his last seven matches on clay.
Dominic Thiem vs Gael Monfils Prediction
This game will be an interesting one, as Monfils will be a tough opponent for Thiem. The Austrian should have enough to win, even if the match goes to five sets. It will be a close affair, and a win in straight sets seems highly unlikely. Thiem should get the win in five sets to progress to the quarter-final.