Kicking off the tennis action in Tokyo on Monday afternoon is a compelling first round match-up between surging Austrian Dominic Thiem and South Africa’s Kevin Anderson. This marks just the second time that these two athletes will cross paths on the professional tour, with Anderson leading the series 1-0 with a victory at this year’s Australian Open.
After making a relatively deep run at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Kevin Anderson lost two of his next three matches before arriving at the US Open. There, he defeated Pablo Cuevas and Jerzy Janowicz before losing to eventual champion Marin Cilic in the third round. He is yet to take part in a single tournament following the conclusion of the season’s final Grand Slam event.
Following a less-than-stellar run during the US Open Series, where he lost his opening matches in both Toronto and Cincinnati, Dominic Thiem regrouped and worked his way into the fourth round of the US Open, picking up wins over Ernests Gulbis and Feliciano Lopez before losing out to Tomas Berdych. Now competing in his first post-Flushing Meadows tournament, the youngster will be looking to close out his season in strong fashion.
This marks the second time that Anderson and Thiem will cross paths on the ATP World Tour, with their first meeting taking place at the start of the season at the Australian Open. Anderson leads the series 1-0 and will be a slight favourite this time around as well, although he could also be primed for a big upset in his first match in nearly a month.
Prediction: Dominic Thiem in Three Sets