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Dominic Thiem vs Aslan Karatsev Prediction | H2H | Stats: Doha Open 2021

The top seed Dominic Thiem faces a tough opener as he locks horns against the in-form Aslan Karatsev in the pre-quarterfinals of the Doha Open. 

Karatsev notched up a convincing win 6-4 6-0 win in 65 minutes against homeboy, Mubarak Shannan Zayid. The Russian smashed 4 aces and clinched 89% (24/27) of his first-serve points. Karatsev only gave away a minuscule 7 points on his serve throughout the match. 

Head to Head Record

This is the first meeting between Thiem and Karatsev on the ATP Tour.

Key Insights

  • Thiem is playing his first match on the tour after he lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open to Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.
  • Thiem has reunited with his coach Nicholas Massu who could not make it to the opening grand slam at Melbourne Park after testing positive for Covid-19.
  • The last Austrian player to win the Qatar ExxonMobil Open was an unseeded Stefan Koubek in 2003.
  • After reaching his maiden grand slam semifinals in the Australian Open this year, Karatsev is placed at an all-time high rank of 45. He was earlier ranked 114.
  • Thiem did not take part in the Doha Open last year as he was playing for Austria in the ATP Cup.
  • Karatsev also did not feature in the 2020 edition of the Doha Open as he was preparing for 2 tournaments in Bangkok as part of the ATP Challenger Tour.
    • Thiem's best performance in the Doha Open was a semifinal finish in 2018. He gave a walkover against Gael Monfils due to fever and a heavy cough.

 

Game Analysis

Thiem is one of the very consistent hard-court players having won the US Open 2020 and also reached the finals of the Australian Open and the ATP Finals last year. Ahead of bigger tournaments like the Dubai Open and the Miami Masters, the Austrian will be aiming to get into a good groove in Doha. 

He is a hard-hitting player who plays his shots aggressively from the baseline. His main strengths lie in his topspin heavy forehand, flat backhand, and tremendous footspeed. However, when his firepower game is not working, Thiem does not have any other alternative and can struggle in long rallies. 

Karatsev showed the whole world what he is capable of on the big stage by defeating three seeded players, Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger Aliassime, and Dimitrov in the Australian Open. 

With his powerful shot-making, he can get a lot of winners. In the first round, he completely dominated the rallies against his opponent by outhitting him. 

Thiem will look rusty since he is playing his first competitive match after more than three weeks. "The Doha Open draw is unbelievably strong, so you never know what is going to happen, now it's time to focus on new things, the tournament in Doha is the first chance to play better again, to get good results, to get confidence and to forget a pretty tough start of the season," opined Thiem as he aims to resurrect his 2021 season. 

Karatsev is in the best form of his career and this is his best chance to upset Thiem and open up the draw. Though Thiem is nowhere close to his red-hot form, his superior ball-striking ability will give him an edge against the Russian.

Prediction - Dominic Thiem to win in three sets

Featured Image Credits - ATP Tour

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