Dominic Thiem looks to build on his US Open title with another strong run at the French Open. The Austrian has made it to at least the final four in Paris in each of the last four years, including finals in 2018 and 2019. He would likely have to beat Rafael Nadal to make it three in a year but first must focus on another slam champion in round one, Marin Cilic.
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As to be expected with Cilic’s power game, his worst of the four slams is the French Open with just two quarter finals in 2017 and 2018 being anything worth shouting about in Paris. He did win two matches in Rome with one coming against an out of form David Goffin but otherwise is generally quite vulnerable on this surface, especially against players above his usual level.
A year ago, many would likely have tipped Thiem’s 2020 slam breakthrough to come in Paris but a massive improvement on hard courts combined with a little luck saw him win his first in New York. The comeback victory against Zverev should fill him with further confidence going into a tournament he has always thrived at. He chose not to play in Rome so comes into the event without a warmup although his US Open preparation saw him take a heavy loss to Filip Krajinovic, suggesting there shouldn’t be too much to be concerned about.
Thiem already leads the head to head 3-0, although all of these matches did come on hard courts. Unless Cilic comes out the blocks firing and the different conditions do favour heavy hitters, Thiem should be far too consistent for the Croatian. Cilic should provide a good warmup for his second round where he will play another opponent with a strong serve/forehand combo in either Jack Sock or Reilly Opelka.
Prediction – Dominic Thiem in straight sets