Dominic Thiem v Kevin Anderson ATP Washington live stream: Anderson to maintain perfect record against top seed Thiem
Kevin Anderson has defeated Dominic Thiem in all five of their previous meetings - can the towering South African beat the top seed in Washington for the sixth time when they clash in the Citi Open third round on Thursday?
Watch and bet on tennis live at bet365 > sports > live streaming tennis. Thiem vs Anderson third round clash begins around 5.30pm local time on Thursday (10.30pm BST).
Dominic Thiem enjoyed a comfortable opening victory in his Citi Open debut in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, but things are set to get much tougher on Thursday as the top seed searches for his first win in six attempts over 15th seed and former top 10 player Kevin Anderson. Thiem is hoping to translate his incredible clay season over to hardcourts for the North American summer, but the Austrian enforcer will have to be at his best if his Citi Open title quest is going to continue, with Anderson starting to return to the sort of level that saw him crack the top 10 two years ago. Thiem and Anderson take to court around 5.30pm local time on Thursday (10.30pm BST).
Competing at the ATP 500 tournament for the first time, Thiem barely put a foot wrong in his first match in the American capital, comfortably accounting for Henri Laaksonen in a routine 6-3 6-3 victory. Thiem dropped just one point behind his first serve and never faced a break point as he eased into the third round in just 63 minutes in what was his first match since suffering a five-set loss to Tomas Berdych in the R16 at Wimbledon.
Thiem once again failed to fire on grass, winning just four matches across three tournaments on the lawns, but the 23-year-old managed to maintain his top 10 status courtesy of a scintillating clay court season, with his highlights including runner-up finishes to Rafael Nadal in Barcelona and the Madrid Masters, along with beating Novak Djokovic en route to the French Open semi-finals and also toppling Nadal to make the final four of the Rome Masters.
The Austrian was clearly the second best player during the clay swing, but can Thiem replicate that sort of form during the North American summer on hardcourt? Thiem really struggled towards the end of last season and the start of this year on hardcourt, making just one semi-final in 17 tournaments during that period. The good news for Thiem is that there’s a lot of points up for grabs if he can go deep, and if continues to rack up the wins, a push towards the top five for the remainder of 2017 isn’t out of the question.
However Thiem can’t afford to look past Thursday night in Washington D.C. when he faces a man who has had his number in all their previous meetings.
Kevin Anderson was at the peak of his powers when shoulder, knee and ankle problems surfaced at the beginning of last year, forcing him onto the sidelines and derailing the momentum he had generate in 2015, which was easily bis best season on tour.
Anderson lit up the North American hardcourt summer that year, winning his third ATP World Tour title at Winston-Salem (snapping a seven-match losing streak in finals) before defeating Andy Murray on his way to his first grand slam quarter-final at the US Open. Those results helped elevate Anderson into the top 10 for the first time as he became the first player from South Africa to crack the world’s elite since Wayne Ferreira in 1997.
But that’s when the injuries hit hard, with Anderson undergoing ankle surgery at the start of 2016 and only winning 16 matches throughout the season (compared to 46 in 2015), and as a result, his ranking dropped to as low as 70 in the world - his lowest mark since 2010. More injury problems sidelined Anderson at the beginning of 2017, with the 31-year-old forced out of the Australian Open with a hip issue, but the South African started playing better during the clay season, reaching the semi-finals of Estoril and the quarter-finals of Geneva - along with beating Nick Kyrgios en route to the R16 at Roland Garros.
Anderson would enjoy three nice wins over Fernando Verdasco, Andreas Seppi and Ruben Bemelmans to make the fourth round of Wimbledon (losing in five sets to Sam Querrey), and he started his Citi Open campaign strongly on Wednesday, toppling Malek Jaziri 6-4 6-1 and avenging his loss to the Tunisian in Washington last year.
Thiem was very solid in his opener, but I give Anderson a great shot at the ‘upset’ on Thursday. The big-serving 15th seed is capable of some tremendous tennis at his best, and it looks like he’s on his way back to that level after a tough 2016 season. They haven’t met in a completed match since the Paris Masters in 2015, but if Anderson serves well, he will be well-positioned to win. Five of their last six sets have gone to tiebreaks - and if it does again, Anderson will fancy his chances of a sixth win over Thiem.
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