Jan-Lennard Struff vs. Dominic Thiem
|Date & Time||Wednesday September 19, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Dominic Thiem and Jan-Lennard Struff meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis St. Petersburg Open.
Dominic Thiem is coming off two wins in the Davis Cup and hopes to build on his quarterfinal trip in the US Open. Thiem played some of his best tennis ever in New York and really gained a lot of supporters with his five set marathon against Rafael Nadal. It’s going to be very intriguing to see if Thiem is able to build on that confidence and start consistently competing for titles. While it will take some time for the pain of the loss to go away, it certainly should make Thiem a more confident player, a guy who now knows he belongs in the conversation with the best in the world. The problem is Thiem has lost his first match in a tournament in three of his last six tries, so there is still some wrinkles that need to be ironed out. Thiem has lost four of his last seven matches on indoor hard court.
Jan-Lennard Struff is coming off a straight sets win over Andrey Rublev that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Struff won 88 percent of his first serve points and 61 percent of his second serve points. Struff won 78 percent of his total service points and didn’t face a single break point in the effortless victory. Struff got 65 percent of his first serves in play and hit 18 aces. While the serve is clearly working, Struff has to improve his return if he has any chance of winning this match. Struff now hopes to win at least two matches in a single tournament for the fourth straight try. Struff has one career win over top-10 players, which came in 2016. Struff has won five of his last eight matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played three times and Thiem has won two of those matches. The most recent match was in the 2017 Australian Open, a match Thiem won in four sets. Struff’s only win over Thiem came in Auckland of 2015.
Struff isn’t going to stand a chance in this match if he can’t win more than 25 percent of his return points. Thiem is a player who I will be keeping a close eye on these next few months, as he has a chance to really turn the corner in his career. Thiem seems to have everything working at the moment and should be hungry for consistent success.
Thiem wins this match in two competitive sets.