Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev kick off quarter-final day on Tuesday in what should be a compelling affair between two of the top young players in the game, both of which are yet to make their slam winning breakthrough. The winner will likely play Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. This will be a rematch of the Madrid final where Zverev extended his winning streak with a 6-4 6-4 victory.
Zverev might not be lighting up the court with his play this tournament but his fighting spirit has been clear to see. He made it three straight five set victories, all from 1-2 down, with a 4-6 7-6 2-6 6-3 6-3 win over Karen Khachanov. “I’m not concerned [about fitness], if you’re mentally fatigued, then something is wrong with you. Physically, obviously it’s not easy to play back-to-back-to-back five-set matches. But I will manage it, somehow. I will do everything I can to recover, as I said after the last match. I will make sure to be ready in two days’ time.” he said.
It would not be a surprise at all were these two stars to battle it out in a lengthy five setter although Thiem has to have the edge for now. He has spent far less time on court although he will be disappointed to have lost sets to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berretini in previous rounds. He was fairly dominant in his fourth round win over Kei Nishikori, aside from a blip at the end of the third set. He hit 41 winners (to 33 unforced errors) in the 6-2 6-0 5-7 6-4 win.
Thiem is gunning for a third straight semi final at Roland Garros – and this time will avoid the Number 1 seed at this stage having lost to Djokovic and Nadal respectively in the 2016 and 2017. “It’s going to be a very tough match against him. He’s going to be pumped. It’s his first quarter-finals [at a Grand Slam]. So he wants to move on, for sure,” Thiem said. “So I think we can make it legendary, and that would be very nice.”
Prediction – Dominic Thiem in five sets