Evaluating The London Hopefuls: Dominic Thiem And Marin Cilic - UBITENNIS
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Evaluating The London Hopefuls: Dominic Thiem And Marin Cilic

In the second part we evaluate the seasons of Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic ahead of the ATP Finals

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Dominic Thiem (zimbio.com)

In the second part of our four-part series, we evaluate the seasons of Dominic Thiem and Marin Cilic as the ATP World Tour Finals in London draws closer. 

Dominic Thiem 

The Austrian will be competing in his third season-ending finale after another good season which resulted in a grand slam final in Paris this year. The season started with a Doha semi-final before being knocked out in the fourth round of the Australian Open by Tennys Sandgren.

That was followed by his first title of the year in Buenos Aires and decent runs in Rio De Janeiro and Acapulco. Despite suffering an injury in Indian Wells, Thiem recorded one of his best ever clay court season beating both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

A first grand slam final capped off a dream run on the clay even though he did lose to the ‘King Of Clay’ in the last match. However when there have been wins, there have also been injuries, which he suffered at Wimbledon and in the build-up to the US Open.

However he was clearly saving his best tennis for New York as he reached the quarter-finals as he lost to Rafael Nadal in an all-time classic match. A title in St. Petersburg and a semi-final in Paris-Bercy meant that the Austrian would once again compete at the ATP Finals in London.

Wide Return

Thiem has won 52 of his 72 matches this season and one of the keys to his success is the depth he can get on the return out wide. As you can see below, the Austrian has made 35 of his 60 first serve returns on that side and that has been crucial to keeping his opponents on his toes.

Via ATPWorldTour.com

Kevin Anderson will need to be wary of this when the two face each other on Sunday afternoon. There is no doubts that Thiem deserves his place in London but can he reach the semi-finals?

Thiem’s Five Best Tournaments

Roland Garros Final – 1,200 pts

Madrid Final – 600 pts

US Open Quarter-Finals – 360 pts

Paris Semi-Finals – 360 pts

St. Petersburg Champion – 250 pts

Marin Cilic 

Marin Cilic (zimbio.com)

The big-serving Croatian is competing in his fourth ATP Finals after another excellent year which included an Australian Open final. After a five set epic loss to Federer in Melbourne the Croatian struggled for some form with a fourth round loss to eventual champion John Isner in Miami being the most notable.

A semi-final in Rome and a quarter-final in Roland Garros sealed a solid clay court season for the 30 year-old, which he used as momentum to win the Queens Club title. After a successful week in London, came an unsuccessful after an embarrassing defeat to Guido Pella saw another two steps backwards for Cilic.

Another semi-final performance in Cincinnati followed by a punishing defeat to Kei Nishikori in the US Open quarter-finals saw the Croatian all-but seal his place at the ATP Finals. Despite some bad defeats at the back-end of the year, Cilic looks to end his season strongly.

He will start his ATP Finals campaign against Alexander Zverev on Monday afternoon.

STAT: Marin Cilic is 10-24 against his round-robin opponents at the ATP Finals, with seven of those wins coming against John Isner. 

Cilic’s five best tournaments

Australian Open Final – 1,200 pts

Queen’s Club Champion – 500 pts

Roland Garros Quarter-Finals – 360 pts

US Open Quarter-Finals – 360 pts

Rome Semi-Finals – 360 pts

 

 

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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Ons Jabeur’s Latest Withdrawal Raises Doubts Over Season Ambitions

Ons Jabeur will be hoping to re-energize herself ahead of a big few months in her career.

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Ons Jabeur’s latest withdrawal in Dubai has raised doubts over how successful the Tunisian can be this season.

Despite having high hopes for revitalizing her season in Dubai, Ons Jabeur has had another setback in 2024.

The Tunisian was forced to withdraw from one of her favourite tournaments of the year in Dubai due to a knee injury.

This withdrawal came days after Jabeur said she was ready for the challenge in Dubai and was excited to compete in front of a passionate crowd in Dubai.

In a statement Jabeur explained her injury and why she was unable to compete in Dubai this week, “After consultation of my doctors and team we have decided that I will have to withdraw from Dubai this week and go for more medical treatments,” Jabeur was quoted by tennishead as saying.

“Looking forward to reconnect with all on the courts for the US swing. Thank you for your continuous support.”

This latest setback isn’t a coincidence though as Jabeur has struggled with injuries ever since her Wimbledon final.

The mental and physical toll that the last eight months have taken of Jabeur are starting to show.

There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place as Jabeur has been open about her mental health struggles since that comprehensive defeat to Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon.

That’s a potential problem for Jabeur going forwards as it continues to get tougher for the world number six to find motivation going forwards.

A long break away from tennis may be beneficial for Jabeur as it feels like this summer may be the Tunisian’s last opportunity at Grand Slam glory.

An innovative and new approach may be required for Jabeur as her physical and mental stamina continues to fade with every week.

However will Jabeur manage reinvent herself before it’s too late? Only time will tell and SW19 may be the final destination in that bid.

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Iga Swiatek ‘Proud’ After Claiming Doha Title

World number one Iga Swiatek won her 18th career title in Doha.

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Iga Swiatek defeated Elena Rybakina 7-6(8) 6-2 to claim the title in Doha.

The world number one sealed an 18th career title with a straight sets win over Rybakina.

Swiatek had previously struggled to beat the Kazakh and that continued at the start of the opening set with the Pole conceding a double break deficit at 4-1.

However Swiatek was resilient as she won four games in a row to get back on track in the opening set.

Rybakina broke in the eleventh game and had the opportunity to serve for the opening set but couldn’t take the opportunity.

In the tiebreak, Swiatek converted her fourth set point as she claimed a mammoth tiebreak 10-8.

After that Swiatek seized control as she broke twice after saving two break points in the second game.

The Pole held comfortably to claim her maiden title of the 2024 season in what was her first tournament since a third round exit at the Australian Open.

In her-post match speech Swiatek admitted that she is proud of her performance in Doha this week, “You don’t even know hard it was not to think about it,” Swiatek was quoted by France 24 as saying after winning her 13th match in Doha.

“I came here and was pretty stressed because I felt the expectations. I wanted to do everything step by step like I always do. I’m really happy. I’m really proud of myself.”

Swiatek will now look to continue that form in Dubai next week where she takes on either Sloane Stephens or Clara Burel in her opening round match.

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