Dominic Thiem will look to move his winning streak to ten matches on Friday when he takes on Casper Ruud for a spot in the third round of the French Open. It will be the first meaning between the two with an even improving Ruud looking to make a name for himself on the big stage.
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Former junior No.1 Ruud has been progressing up the rankings nicely and finds himself at a career high of No. 25 coming into this tournament. The Norwegian has excelled on career in his short career so far and already has two finals on the surface, winning the one in Buenos Aires back in February. He dominated Yuichi Sugita in round before coming through a tough five setter with Tommy Paul, a match he may well have expected to have won more easily.
Thiem also beat an American in round two, seeing off Jack Sock in straight sets. He was pushed a bit more in the third set of the 6-1 6-3 7-6 win but came good at the right moment as Sock pushed on. The Austrian has looked fairly comfortable so far in Paris, showing no signs of a post-slam hangover from New York.
“I’m still a little bit on the happy wave of New York, I would say. Of course, at one point I’m going to get super tired. I guess all the tension and focus on the French Open, it’s still hiding the tiredness and everything. I hope I can push it as far as I can.” Thiem said afterwards. Ruud is a more tougher proposition than the two big hitters so far and will pose a much different and more solid test to Thiem. There may still be too much of a class gap in this one but there is no doubt Ruud will be a dangerous opponent for years to come on this surface if he continues to improve.
Prediction – Dominic Thiem in straight sets