Relentless Andrey Rublev Thrashes Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open

Andrey Rublev Washington

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev of Russia beat Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-3 6-4 6-2 in a first round match at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Tuesday. The 29-year-old former US Open champion was too insipid to pose a serious challenge to Rublev.

Thiem’s prolonged comeback from a serious wrist injury that thus continues to be unflattering, even disappointing. Rublev, meanwhile looked solid and was not stretched much on the day.

How Andrey Rublev Defeated Dominic Thiem

 Rublev looked the more forceful of the players by some margin from the beginning:

There were prolonged baseline exchanges between the two players from the very beginning, as neither ventured into net often. However, Rublev’s groundstrokes, especially his forehand, were considerably more powerful than the Austrian’s.

Rublev got the first break of the match in the eighth game of the first set to lead 5-3 and then served out the first set. Rublev’s inside-out forehand that went into Thiem’s backhand side kept the Austrian on his toes throughout the first set.

Moreover, Thiem’s ever-reliable backhand was not at its usual best on the day as he committed quite a few unforced errors off it by hitting the ball long.

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Rublev started playing approaches more often to outclass Thiem in the last two sets:

The Russian once again got the decisive break in the second set to keep his nose ahead and register a comfortable lead. He punished any short ball that came his way with his blistering forehand. Moreover, Rublev also started playing fine approach shots from the second set onwards before rushing the net and finishing off points with overhead smashes.

Thiem, meanwhile, could hardly exert any pressure on the 25-year-old Russian and his performance deteriorated as the match progressed. He was broken twice in the third set, as the Russian romped through to a comfortable win. There were occasional glimpses of Thiem’s brilliance, like when he came up with a couple of stupendous winners off his backhand to save two break points in the first game of the third set, but they were too few and far between.

Rublev’s unforced error count at 34 was significantly higher than Thiem’s, who committed 20. However, the Russian also hit 33 winners against Thiem’s 19 and won 81% of the points on his first serve against the Austrian’s 58%.

Main Photo from Getty.