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



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




Alexander Zverev Continues To Struggle After Jarry Defeat In Barcelona

Alexander Zverev’s poor recent form continues as he goes out in Barcelona in three sets to Nicolas Jarry.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Alexander Zverev continues his poor 2019 season after losing 3-6 7-5 7-6(5) in Barcelona to Nicolas Jarry.


The German battled back from a double break down in the final set however after wasting a match point, couldn’t beat the powerful Chilean.

It means that Zverev has only won three matches in five tournaments since reaching the Acapulco final, where he lost to Nick Kyrgios.

It was a positive start for the recently turned 22 year-old after he played fairly aggressively and took the first set 6-3 with some great play.

After a consistent first set, the German failed to control the match to his tempo as Jarry rallied back in the second set with some aggressive play of his own.

The Chilean brings an aggressive game to the court and has the confidence to beat anyone on his day although he is yet to win an ATP title.

A run of five games saw Zverev’s confidence get knocked as Jarry levelled the match and stormed into a double break lead in the decider.

If there is a positive to take from the ATP Finals champion’s play today, it’s the fight he showed to rally back and show some much-needed energy.

After breaking in three consecutive games it was a controlled match from both as this was a big match for both in their respective seasons.

A simple backhand miss on match point didn’t help Zverev as the world number 81 forced a final set tiebreak to settle the match.

In the end after a nervy 12 points, it was Jarry who kept his cool to earn one of the biggest wins of his career as Zverev continued his bad run of form.

Since falling ill in Acapulco, the German has only won three matches in five tournaments and admits he is in a dilemma, “I’m in a hole and I don’t know how to get out of it,” the German explained.

“I just play bad, it’s not a secret. I’m missing backhands all over the places, which is my best shot. I cannot make one impressive shot. I’m double faulting.”

The German now has titles in Munich and Madrid to defend before final points in Rome as he goes through the toughest time of his career.

As for Jarry he will now play Grigor Dimitrov or Fernando Verdasco in the third round.

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Tough draws for Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep at the Porsche Indoor Grand Prix in Stuttgart



Reigning US Open and Australian champion and world number 1 Naomi Osaka has been drawn in the same quarter as two-time champion Angelique Kerber and Hsieh Su Wei at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, which features six of the top 10 players of the WTA Ranking. The tournament takes place on indoor clay at the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart.


Osaka will make her second appreance in the star-studded Stuttgart tournament after losing to Great Britain’s Johanna Konta in the opening round in 2017. The Japanese player, who is receiving a bye from the opening round, is on a collision course for a possible second round match against Hsieh Su Wei, who will make her debut in the Stuttgart tournament against Qiang Wang in the first round.

Last year’s Roland Garros champion Simona Halep could face crowd favourite Andrea Petkovic in the second round. The Romanian player could meet either Kiki Bertens or this year’s Dubai champion Belinda Bencic.

Defending champion and this year’s Miami champion Karolina Pliskova will take on the winner of the blockbuster match between Garbine Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka. In this section Caroline Garcia has been drawn with Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, who reached the semifinal in Stuttgart last year and in Miami in 2019. Garcia contributed to the win in the decisive doubles match alongside her teammate Kristina Mladenovic in the Fed Cup semifinal against Romania in Rouen.

In the bottom half of the draw this year’s Australian Open finalist and Sydney champion Petra Kvitova could meet the winner of an all-Latvian first round clash between 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko and Anastasjia Sevastova.



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Fabio Fognini lifts his maiden Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo



Fabio Fognini beat Dusan Lajovic 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters to win the maiden Masters 1000 title of his career. Fognini has become the first Italian to win in the Monte-Carlo Country Club since Nicola Pietrangeli in 1968.


Fognini, the first Italian player to reach the final in the Principality since Davis Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti lost to Bjorn Borg in 1977, is the lowest player to win the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title since Gustavo Kuerten in 1999. Fognini was on the verge of defeat in the first round when he trailed 4-6 1-4 during the second set against Andrey Rublev.

In the next rounds Fognini went on to beat 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev in the third round, Borna Coric in the quarter final in another three-set match after trailing 1-6 0-2. 11-time Monte-Carlo champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinal and Dusan Lajovic in the final.

Fognini is the first Italian champion in the Masters series since 1990. Since 2005 the only three other champions in the Monte-Carlo champions have been Rafael Nadal (eleven times from 2005 to 2012 and from 2016 to 2018), Novak Djokovic (twice in 2013 and 2015) and Stan Wawrinka (2014)

In his first head-to-head match against Lajovic Fognini saved two of the four break points he faced and broke serve four times. The Italian player hit 19 winners to 23 unforced errors, while Lajovic produced a ratio of 16 winners to 36 mistakes.

Lajovic earned the first break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, but Fognini broke twice in the fourth and sixth games to win five of the next six games.

Both players traded breaks in the first and second games of the second set. Fognini earned the decisive break to take a 3-2 lead, when Lajovic sent a forehand long. Fognini received a medical time-out to treat his ankle, but he held his next three service games to close out the match with a service winner on his second match point.

Fognini will reach his career high of world number 12 just 5 points behind Marin Cilic. He is just 250 points away from the top 10.

“I was born near Monte-Carlo and it’s awesome to win this tournament. Congratulations to Dusan. You have a great team. your coach José Perlas trained me in the past. Continue to work hard. It will be your time soon. I thank my team. This year I started badly. Thanks to my wife Flavia for her support. Thank to my town Arma di Taggia. I want to thank the Tournament Director Zeliko Franulovic. I dedcate this trophy to my mother, who will celebrate her birthday tomorrow”, said a delighted Fognini during the award ceremony.


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