Dominic Thiem looks to continue his winning streak on Wednesday when he faces off against Jack Sock for a spot in round three. Thiem does have his work cut out if he wants to make the final in Paris for the third year running with his draw placement being in the half of Rafael Nadal rather than Novak Djokovic.
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A top ten player as recently as three years ago, Sock’s decline in the rankings has been quite dramatic. Outside the top 300, he had to use a protected ranking to enter qualifying where he was a surprising victor. He beat Andrey Kuznetsov in the final round to book a first round matchup with Reilly Opelka, who he defeated surprisingly easily. He was broken just once in the straight sets win against his fellow countryman, making decent inroads on the Opelka serve.
Thiem’s lack of preparation didn’t hinder him at all as he eased past Marin Cilic in round one. He was impressive on the key points in the 6-4 6-3 6-3 win, most notably saving break points to hold on for the opening set. “I am really happy with my first round. I was facing another great champion today. The transition to the clay and the cold conditions worked out pretty well.” he said
“I love the conditions because I am from Austria. I know how it is to play in these cold conditions and back in juniors and when I started to play Futures, it was always like that, 10 to 15 degrees [and] cold. I love it when it is not too fast, so I can be a little bit behind the baseline and make a lot of returns in court.” Thiem said. He seems to be one of very few with a positive opinion of the conditions and that could serve him well in later rounds. He should ease through this one with Sock unlikely to be able to hit through Thiem often enough, if at all.
Prediction – Dominic Thiem in straight sets