Dominic Thiem vs Marco Cecchinato Tennis Prediction
Marco Cecchinato, taking little help from Novak Djokovic’s neck injury, stunned the former world #1 in four sets to continue his dream run at the French Open, 6-3 7-6 1-6 7-6.
World #72 Marco Cecchinato was just one set away from losing to Marius Copil in the first round of the French Open this fortnight, but he has now become the first Italian (male) to make a Grand Slam semi-final since Corrado Barazzutti at the 1978 Roland Garros.
Cecchinato, who had never won a grand slam main draw match before entering the French Open this fortnight, said, “I’m very, very happy. When I won the first match in Grand Slam, I feel good. And match by match, I feel now I can also win the next round. It’s a special moment for me.”
Less than three years ago, Marco Cecchinato hit an all-time low as he was fined 40,000 Euros and banned for few months by the Italian Tennis Federation (he appealed against the decision, and the case was later dropped) for his involvement in fixing a match against Kamil Majchrzak in the Mohammedia challenger 2015. However, things have changed drastically, and he is enjoying the best period of his career at the moment.
Marco Cecchinato has won 32 matches so far in 2018 (three less than Dominic Thiem) with 31 of those wins coming on clay. This impressive run on clay includes his maiden tour title at Budapest and a Challenger title at Santiago.
Dominic Thiem exacted the revenge for last month’s Madrid Masters final defeat by scoring a dominant straight set win over the fatigued and injured Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinal, 6-4 6-2 6-1.
The Austrian #1 made the semifinals of the French Open in his recent two appearances in 2016 and 2017, but lost out on both occasions, against Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, respectively. However, facing a relatively comfortable opponent, he will be hoping to go at least one step further this time around.
The win against Zverev extends Thiem’s winning streak to nine matches. Though he has won two titles (Buenos Aires and Lyon) and 23 matches on clay this season, he would probably be disappointed for missing out on his maiden Masters title at Madrid, where he defeated Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal but lost to Alexander Zverev in the final.
Their H2H is tied at 1-1 with Marco Cecchinato winning their only previous clay meeting in an ITF event (2013). However, Dominic Thiem is a much-improved player now, and in fact, he is probably the second best clay courter in the world right now (behind Rafael Nadal), which makes him the overwhelming favorite in this contest. That said, facing a player who is going on an inspiring run and has got nothing to lose is never easy.
Tennis Prediction: Over 3.5 SETS