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Dominic Thiem Faces One of the Most Crucial Tests of his Career

Dominic Thiem in action ahead of the ATP Madrid Open.

Dominic Thiem of Austria will face Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in a second-round match of the Madrid Open on Saturday. Thiem dismissed Kyle Edmund of Great Britain without much difficulty in the first round. After a few years of struggle and disappointment, the 29-year-old former US Open champion is finally displaying good form.

However, Saturday’s match will be very crucial for Thiem, as beating a top player on his favorite surface will definitely boost his confidence. Tsitsipas is going through a lean patch at the moment and it might present the Austrian with an opportunity. At this juncture, it is almost a make-or-break opportunity for the Austrian. He is currently ranked 93rd in the world, but a good run in the remaining tournaments of the European clay swing will definitely bolster his ranking.

Dominic Thiem was back in his elements against Edmund:

Thiem played really well against Edmund on Thursday. He returned well and played a few scorching passes as the Brit came to the net. There were a few thunderous down-the-line backhand winners that were reminiscent of his old self. Thiem has suffered because of his wrist injury and it was refreshing to see him playing his shots with consummate ease.

However, Tsitsipas should prove to be a different proposition. With his powerful serve and forehand, the Greek will look to dominate most of the rallies on Saturday. It will be of paramount importance for Thiem to return well on the day.

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Thiem should target Tsitsipas’ backhand:

It is well-known that Tsitsipas is not very comfortable on his backhand wing, so Thiem should be ready to capitalize on it. Hence, Thiem’s crosscourt backhand should be an important shot and he should try to engage the Greek in as many crosscourt backhand exchanges as possible.

The Asutrian can then unleash his powerful down-the-line backhand to the open court to put the Greek under pressure. Beating Tsitsipas on clay is definitely not going to be easy, but one cannot rule out the chance of an upset on Saturday.

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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