An intriguing encounter is set to take place in the semi-final round of the Open de Nice tournament on Friday afternoon in France. The final warm-up event ahead of the 2015 edition of the French Open will feature an enthralling contest between American No. 1 John Isner and Dominic Thiem. It will serve as the first ever meeting on the tour between the two talented competitors.
In a standard match on court last Thursday, John Isner defeated Serbian adversary Dusan Lajovic in straight sets to advance to the semi-final stage of the Open de Nice. He fired eight aces, won 76% of his first service points, converted just the one break point in the second set and saved both the break points he faced on serve during the match. He eventually finished the encounter 7-6(3), 6-4.
“I thought it was a pretty high quality match,” Isner told ATPWorldTour.com. “I played pretty well. As it is in a lot of my matches, it came down to a few points in the first and second sets.”
In a less-than-stellar quarter-final meeting on Thursday, Austria’s Dominic Thiem defeated Ernests Gulbis in straight set to advance to the final four in Nice. He struck two aces, won 75% of his first service points and converted four break points to secure the 6-2, 6-4 victory in one hour and 37 minutes. It was an impressive showing from the Austrian as he prepares for a tall task against the American.
This is just the first time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour and is an encounter with two separate, potential outcomes. However, it is likely that Isner will present a difficult challenge on serve for Thiem and he will likely advance to the tournament final following a tight straight sets encounter with a couple of tiebreaks.
Prediction: John Isner in Three Sets