ATP Tour: Roger's Cup Selected Ro32 Matches Preview

Tennis Player hits ball

Check out our preview for selected Round of 32 matches from the ATP's Roger's Cup taking place on 8 August.

Dominic Thiem 17/20 | Stefanos Tsitsipas 9/10 
This is a match that would have had us drooling were it on the clay-court swing. As it is, we have two clay-court aficionados battling out on the North American hardcourts. Dominic Theim has endured a dreadful few weeks after withdrawing from Wimbledon. He got nowhere in the German Open or Austrian Open and it seems as if he has lost some of the steam that saw him reach his first Grand Slam Final at Roland Garros. He even managed to beat Rafa on clay in Madrid. Thiem has won titles in Argentina and Lyon but has yet to convince on the harder courts. Outside of the French Open he has yet to make it past the fourth Round of a Slam.

The 19-year-old Greek had clearly been one of the breakthrough players on this year’s Tour. He soundly beat Dzumhur is his opening match and he will be hoping to build on a promising performance in Washington last week. He beat David Goffin route to that semi-final and it once again showed that he is evolving into an all-court player. He had a brilliant clay-court season that included a final in Barcelona. He also defied expectations and managed to reach the final 16 at Wimbledon. Tsitsipas is emerging as perhaps the newest challenger to the Federer-Nadal-Djokovic hegemony of recent years. The fact that he has succeeded to some extent on all surfaces this season marks him as a special talent.

This is a rather unusual instance in the sense that this is the fifth time these two have met this year. Thiem currently leads the head-to-head 3-1. That actually included a victory on the hardcourts of Doha. But Tsitsipas was close in Indian Wells and pushed Thiem to four at Roland Garros. Furthermore, Tsitsipas won in Barcelona. The Greek appears to be in far better form and may have the edge over Thiem this week. The Austrian has looked poor in the last few weeks and looks slightly jaded following a hectic season. 

Diego Schwartzman 17/20 | Sam Querrey 17/20
11th seed Diego Schwartzman has had a mediocre season that has really evolved around that victory in Rio. Outside of that, the Argentine has largely disappointed in his quest to make the step into the world’s top 10 players. He opened the year in impressive fashion by reaching the final 16 in Melbourne. He would take a set off Nadal in that event- a feat he would later repeat in an excellent Quarter-final run at Roland Garros. He was knocked out of Wimbledon in the Second Round and is coming off a disappointing Quarter-final run at the understrength German Open. But I couldn’t help but be impressed by the manner in which he decimated Kyle Edmund in his opening match here. He won 1 and 2 in a match that had all the trappings of a titanic struggle.

The far more experienced Sam Querrey has had a largely disappointing season following last year’s exploits. A Wimbledon semi-finalist and US Open finalist last year, Querrey has struggled to consistently replicate that kind of form. He reached the Third Round at Wimbledon but has saved his best tennis for the North American hardcourts. He lost to Kevin Anderson in the New York final while he enjoyed an excellent run to the Quarter-finals of the Indian Wells event. Querry clearly has a penchant for these surfaces, as evidenced by his three Los Angeles titles. Querrey managed to overcome Mannarino in the first round despite having an inferior head-to-head record against the Frenchman.

While the Argentine leads the head-to-head 1-0, I’m still in the Querrey camp for this match. Firstly, that match came in Brisbane last year. Those early season events in Australasia are not the greatest barometers for form. Secondly, Schwartzman reminds me in many ways of a right-handed version of Adrian Mannarino- with considerably more power. Querrey is made for these courts and could prove too powerful for the pugnacious Argentine.

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Written by Damien Kayat for

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