Preview: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem Renew Rivalry In Madrid | ATP Tour
5 Prime 10 seeds will open their Mutua Madrid Open campaigns on Saturday on the ATP Masters 1000, with the second spherical of singles motion to be accomplished on Day 4 of main-draw play.
Two males’s matches characteristic on Manolo Santana Stadium, with Stefanos Tsitsipas assembly Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev dealing with Andrea Vavassori. Felix Auger-Aliassime, Taylor Fritz and Denis Shapovalov spotlight the ATP Tour motion on Arantxa Sanchez Stadium, whereas a busy doubles slate sees every of the highest three seeds of their first motion of the week.
ATPTour.com breaks down a few of the largest matchups on Saturday’s schedule throughout the lads’s singles draw and males’s doubles draw.
 Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. Dominic Thiem (AUT)
The previous two conferences between Tsitsipas and Thiem each got here on the Nitto ATP Finals — within the 2019 remaining, received in a third-set tie-break by Tsitsipas, and the 2020 group stage, when Thiem received in three units. Thiem leads their total ATP Head2Head 5-3, with their historical past together with 5 conferences in 2018.
However the acquainted foes haven’t squared off since their November 2020 assembly within the London season finale. After Thiem beat Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-1 to arrange this marquee matchup, the Austrian was excited to resume the rivalry.
“I’m wanting ahead to that one so much,” he mentioned of their second-round assembly. “I like him so much. He’s an unbelievable participant, I like watching his matches. He’s very elegant. We have had some nice matchups.”
Thiem is hoping to construct on reaching two quarter-finals in his previous three occasions (Estoril, Munich), whereas Tsitsipas goals to remain sizzling after reaching the ultimate final week in Barcelona. The Greek is rounding into type following a post-Australian Open dip during which he didn’t win greater than two matches at 4 straight tournaments.
“I take into account myself a candidate for this event by way of having good outcomes,” Tsitsipas mentioned of his possibilities in Madrid. “The run I had in Barcelona introduced me pleasure as a result of after the Australian Open I didn’t go deep in tournaments. Now I’ve had a primary glimpse of what it’s to be sturdy once more. Issues are wanting fairly vibrant.”
Tsitsipas: ‘I Think about Myself A Candidate For This Match’
Each Tsitsipas and Thiem have excelled on clay courts all through their careers, with Tsitsipas profitable three titles on the floor to Thiem’s 10. At their greatest, each can win with consistency or energy from the baseline behind heavy floor strokes. A key tactical part to this match will likely be how typically Tsitsipas makes use of his all-court sport to assault the online, and the way properly Thiem can fend off these approaches together with his trademark, vicious passing photographs.
 Daniil Medvedev vs. Andrea Vavassori (ITA)
Daniil Medvedev entered the European clay swing as the most well liked participant on the ATP Tour, profitable 4 of 5 tournaments — together with his maiden title in Miami — and reaching the ultimate in Indian Wells. Whereas his run of consecutive finals got here to an finish in Monte-Carlo, Medvedev picked up two high quality wins towards Lorenzo Sonego and Alexander Zverev earlier than falling to eventual finalist Holger Rune.
He once more opens reverse an Italian this week in Andrea Vavassori, who beat Andy Murray 6-2, 7-6(7) on Thursday. The 27-year-old certified for the Madrid foremost draw after reaching the quarter-finals or higher at 4 straight ATP Challenger Tour occasions coming into the week.
After beating Murray to mark his ATP Masters 1000 main-draw debut, the Italian will hope his 4 matches on the Madrid clay serve him in good stead towards Medvedev, who’s competing within the Spanish capital for the primary time since 2021.
Medvedev has only one match win in three Madrid appearances, however feels the distinctive circumstances on the occasion give him an excellent probability of success this week.
“It is positively completely different. I’d say it is slightly bit like Roland Garros clay the place it is sort of on a tougher floor,” Medvedev mentioned of the floor. “Additionally altitude, so the balls are flying. What I see from outcomes of many individuals, I ought to have the ability to really play higher right here than different clay courtroom tournaments. To date, I used to be not capable of do it. However yearly is a brand new alternative. This yr is one other one, and I will attempt to simply play my greatest and hopefully play some good tennis.”
 Taylor Fritz vs. Christopher O’Connell (AUS)
Fritz has additionally flashed his clay-court credentials this season, reaching consecutive semi-finals in Monte-Carlo and Munich. He picked up his first Prime 10 win on the floor by beating two-time defending champion Tsitsipas within the Monte-Carlo quarters, changing into the primary American man to achieve the Monaco semi-finals in 20 years.
Australia’s Christopher O’Connell additionally enters Madrid on the again of two straight semi-finals, the primary in Cut up on the ATP Challenger Tour and the second final week in Munich.
Each rivals have been in a few of the greatest type of their careers this season. Fritz reached a career-high Pepperstone ATP Rating of No. 5 in February, changing into the primary American to hit the mark since Andy Roddick, whereas O’Connell reached a profession excessive of World No. 78 final November and at present sits three factors shy of that mark.
Additionally In Motion…
Along with the Fritz vs. O’Connell matchup, two extra ATP contests will characteristic on Arantxa Sanchez Stadium. Auger-Aliassime will open his marketing campaign towards Dusan Lajovic, with the seventh seed in search of his first win in three tries towards the Serbian, who final week defeated Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev en path to the Banja Luka title. Later within the day on Madrid’s second stage, Shapovalov will face China’s Zhang Zhizhen for the primary time.
On Stadium 3, ninth seed Frances Tiafoe meets Tomas Martin Etcheverry and eleventh seed Cameron Norrie faces Japanese qualifier Yosuke Watanuki. Tiafoe and Paul have been doubles opponents on Friday, with Tiafoe and Fritz beating Norrie and Tommy Paul in a Match Tie-break.
All three of the highest doubles seeds will see their first motion on Friday as properly. Prime seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski face Germans Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz, second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury meet Jamie Murray and Michael Venus, and third seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek tackle Simone Bolelli and Fabrice Martin.
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