Austrian Dominic Thiem will take on Karen Khachanov in the quarter-final of the French Open on Wednesday.
Thiem produced his best performance of the tournament to beat Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the round of 16. He won a whopping 80% points on his first serve, which was a good sign. Monfils was the home favorite, but Thiem downed him to reach the quarter-finals. In his three matches before that one, Thiem dropped a set each in all of them. He will be delighted to get the win against Monfils in straight sets.
“It was my best match of the tournament so far, some great rallies, it’s always fun to play Gael,” he said after the game. “It was the first match for me at this tournament, where it didn’t have any up-and-downs. It was really solid. I’m very happy.”
The game against Khachanov is bound to be tougher, but Thiem will be confident of his chances after the way he played against Monfils.
Clay has always been Thiem’s favored surface, and he reached the French Open final last year. That was his first ever Grand Slam final. Rafael Nadal beat him then in straight sets, but Thiem is stronger now. He defeated Nadal in the Barcelona Open in the run-up to Roland-Garros this year. Thiem is a dark horse for the title, and he will be keen to get his first Grand Slam under his belt.
He will face Russian Karen Khachanov who has already achieved his best Grand Slam finish at this French Open. Khachanov met Juan Martin del Potro in the round of 16, and the Argentine was seen by many as the favorite. Khachanov surprised many and went on to win 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. His serving was a significant strength, and so was his powerful hitting. The first set was an important one, and Khachanov won it late to set the tone for the game.
“That’s what I’m working for, to live moments like this,” said the Russian after beating Del Potro. “When you win matches like this, you’re just happy. You’re just happy for all the efforts that you had done before, for all the matches that you played. You’re just thankful for a team and family, so thinking about that.”
This game was Khachanov’s first win against a top 10 opponent at a Grand Slam. He dominated the baseline rallies against Del Potro, which is a hard thing to do. Khachanov and Thiem have met only once, and the Russian won in straight sets that time.
Dominic Thiem vs Karen Khachanov Prediction
Thiem will be the favorite for this one, but it won’t be an easy match by any stretch of the imagination. Khachanov will cause him problems and should take at least one set off him. The Austrian’s experience at this level should tell though, and he will win in four sets to progress to the semi-finals of the French Open.