Dominic Thiem continues his hunt for a first French Open title on Wednesday, taking on Alexander Bublik for a spot in round three. Thiem is definitely in the top three favourites for the title and will fancy his chances against Novak Djokovic should that matchup materialise in the semi-finals.
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If he wants to be a title contender, Thiem will need to improve from his opening round win against Tommy Paul, 6-4 4-6 7-6 6-2. He needed four sets to beat the American wildcard and things could have been much worse for him had he failed to overturn an 0-4 deficit in the third set tiebreak. “It was definitely difficult, but I didn’t expect at all an easy match. I wasn’t playing my best today, that’s for sure.” Thiem said afterwards. “The most positive thing I am taking from the match today is the fourth set, because I freed myself. I played way faster, way tougher for him.”
Bublik’s game is generally better suited for faster surfaces and that can be seen in his ace count against Rudolf Molleker. He hit 30 of them in a four set win over the German, 7-5 6-7 6-1 7-6. He does have the tendency to lose focus and it could have been much worse for him after he failed to convert two match points when attempting to serve out the fourth set.
Bublik should be found wanting early on and will be in major trouble if his serve is not working early on, given how important it is for the Kazakh. Awaiting the winner in the next round is either Pablo Cuevas or Kyle Edmund.
Prediction – Dominic Thiem in straight sets