Dominic Thiem will seek to move one step closer to another French Open final on Monday, taking on home favourite Gael Monfils for a spot in the quarter finals. Thiem should be favoured to make the semi finals here with either Karen Khachanov or Juan Martin Del Potro up for the winner.
Thiem would have been placed as the third favourite for the tournament before it started and while he probably still is, his three matches so far haven’t looked like that of a contender. He needed four sets to win all of them but could have been taken five on all occasions, including against Pablo Cuevas who he eventually beat 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5. “I had a very bad start, but then I played very well,” Thiem said afterwards. “The third and fourth [sets were] solid. I think it was quite a good clay-court match.”
Monfils has gone about his business fairly quietly, disposing off three weak opponents with the minimum of fuss. The most recent of them was French wildcard Antoine Hoang, who he saw off 6-3 6-2 6-3 in just over two hours to make it 9-0 in sets this week. It was an error strewn performance from his inexperienced opponent but Monfils was still delighted to make it through. “I’m happy the way I played today. I was very solid. I’m getting my confidence back,” Monfils said. “It was great for me to have another straight-sets win for me on the centre court, to have a feel.”
“The next match is going be a tough one. Obviously Dominic is in great form. He’s one of the top three guys [who has] potential to win the tournament, facing him in the fourth round won’t be easy, but as I said, I feel good. I’m at home, so anything is possible. So I’m just going to give a shot for this one.” Monfils added. The Frenchman will need to try something new to have success against an opponent he has always struggled against. Thiem is 4-0 in the head to head and won the latest clay matchup for the loss of just three games.
Prediction – Dominic Thiem in four sets