Australian Open Quarterfinal Predictions Including Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem

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The Australian Open quarterfinal matches wrap up with Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka vs Alexander Zverev. Alex Advocaat, Damian Kust and Harsh Bhoot offer their predictions.

Australian Open Quarterfinal Predictions

Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem

Alex: The Thiem-Nadal tie serves to be the biggest blockbuster matchup of the quarterfinals. They have played each other 13 times with Nadal holding a 9-4 record over the Austrian. The majority of those matches have been played on clay, however, the one time they did play on hard it was a US Open epic, going 5 sets with a tiebreaker in the 5th. Nadal has had a pretty easy run so far except his 4-set win over Kygrios, and arguably the world number 1 has been playing some of his best tennis. Thiem, on the other hand, has played a four-setter against #29 Fritz and a Five-setter against unseeded Australian Bolt. With Thiem’s tiredness and Nadal’s current level of play, I doubt we will see a repeat of their 2018 US Open encounter, expect Nadal to finish Thiem quickly. Nadal 3 sets

Harsh: Installment no. 14 of the Nadal-Thiem rivalry and it promises to be a great one. The Spaniard clearly battled nerves towards the end of the fourth set but got the job done but one feels the Austrian might not be so forgiving. Thiem has improved tremendously on hard courts and has a real chance. His one hander can be a deadly weapon even against Nadal and his serving has been decent so far. This match may very well go the distance and rests on which player remains aggressive from the baseline. Nadal was super aggressive on his forehand against Kyrgios and if he’s able to replicate that, the Spaniard should have the upper hand. Nadal in 5

Damian: This is bound to be a long grindfest. 12 of their 13 meetings took place on clay and the only one on hard (US Open 2018) took almost five hours to finish. Both play tennis in a very physical way and refuse to let a single ball past them. Thiem will probably try to stay on the aggressive side of things and push Nadal off the baseline. We’ve seen the Austrian absolutely dominate his service games against Gael Monfils and he’ll need that disposition to look for a win here. I think Thiem has a very good shot to take this, especially as the new Australian Open surface, GreenSet, seems to favor him much more than the previous one. Expect it to come down to a couple of points here or there and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s Thiem who does better in the big moments. Thiem in 5

Alexander Zverev vs Stan Wawrinka

Alex: This European quarter-final affair will surely prove to be an interesting one. Zverev part of the perceived next generation of stars has had some bright moments at the beginning of his career. The three-time masters 1000 winner is a tough customer for anyone on tour with a handful of wins against the big 3. However, this success has eluded him at the Grand Slams, only getting to 3 quarterfinals and posting a record of 2-8 against top 20 opponents at the major tournaments. Stan Wawrinka, on the other hand, has enjoyed success in the later years of his career, only needing a Wimbledon win to complete the career grand slam. Wawrinka, after having a couple down years is playing his best tennis since his double knee surgery in 2017, looks to on the rise after just beating the hottest player in 2019, Daniel Medvedev. Zverev has won in the two previous meetings between the pair but Wawrinka’s improvement and his propensity for success in 5 sets makes me think that we will see the 3rd match going to the Swiss albeit a long duel on Rod Laver Arena. Wawrinka in 5

Harsh: Alexander Zverev’s performance so far is certainly quite a surprise considering his ATP Cup campaign and past Grand Slam struggles. As talented as the German is, reaching the semi-finals of a Grand Slam would be a first for him and it won’t be straight-forward at all. Stan Wawrinka is another beast altogether at the Majors which was evident with the way he took his game up a notch against Daniil Medvedev. Matchup wise, Zverev deals with pace well and the German is slightly stronger on serve. However, nerves can play a huge part and Zverev’s second serve might not remain as reliable. The Swiss knows what it takes to be here and beyond and that confidence can sway this match on key points. Expect a monumental battle wit the Swiss winning the mental battle. Wawrinka in 5

Damian: Zverev’s turnaround from a disastrous ATP Cup campaign to suddenly hitting his peak form here has been nothing short of spectacular. The first two matches were a good sign and the way he dismantled Fernando Verdasco and Andrey Rublev doesn’t bode too well for his future opponents. The German has never come into the second week of a Slam in such good shape and maybe this can be the tournament that turns his career around? Stan Wawrinka described his level to beat Daniil Medvedev as the highest he’s played at since injuring his knee in 2017. But Zverev leads the head-to-head between them and will be coming into this quarterfinal having played three hours less than Stan. The German’s performance to beat Rublev was one of the best of the event so far and if he can transfer it to the next stage – staying aggressive, serving huge and defending well, I think he’ll be a much more solid competitor here. Zverev in 4

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