TennisSection previews the 2021 Qatar Open as Dominic Thiem (1) meets Aslan Karatsev (WC) in the second round on Wednesday, March 10 2021.
Will Aslan Karatsev continue to impress on the ATP Tour after his incredible breakthrough tournament earlier this year at the Australian Open? Will Dominic Thiem begin his campaign to win the title here in Doha strongly as he meets Aslan? We are definitely in for a very tight and exciting match here in the second round, but only one player can book their spot in the Quarter-Finals. Who will it be?
Aslan Karatsev absolutely cruised through his first round encounter against fellow wildcard Mubarak Shannan Zayid, beating the local player in straight sets 6-4/6-0. Aslan seems to still be in the groove after his incredible run to the Australian Open Semi-Finals a few weeks ago. Karatsev is breaking down barriers in the ATP Tour, showing everyone that the underdog should never be counted out, and he will want to continue to show us his incredible game throughout 2021. Karatsev comes into this match, once again, as the underdog. Karatsev, if playing at his best level which we saw in Australia, can definitely hurt Dominic Thiem here who has not played a competitive match in a few weeks. Karatsev has gotten accustom to the courts here, can he now go ahead and cause what would be a massive upset?
Dominic Thiem looks to begin his 2021 ATP Tour campaign as he enters the second round of the 2021 Qatar Open. Thiem had a mediocre start to the season, not performing too well at the ATP Cup, and neither at the Australian Open where he lost to Grigor Dimitrov in a quick 3-setter. Thiem will want to get some positive results under his belt now as he is still the world No.4 and he needs to maintain his positions, especially with a lot of the young guys putting in the work to rise in the rankings. Thiem is in a very tough side of the draw, with the likes of Andrey Rublev, Roberto Bautista Agut, and Stan Wawrinka. Can Thiem get his mojo back after a couple months of mediocrity, or will he leave the door open to someone to cause an upset against the world No.4?
This is going to be the first meeting between Dominic Thiem and Aslan Karatsev, and I think this is going to be much tighter than some people might believe. Dominic Thiem is ranked 41 places higher than Aslan Karatsev, however, Karatsev has beaten some of the best players in the world this year and he will have the self-belief that he can do the same here against Dominic. Adding to this, Karatsev has already played a match here, giving him more of a feel for the court. If there is any time for this upset to happen, it is definitely here. However, Thiem, when pushed to the edge, is another beast. We saw this at the Australian Open when he came back from 2-0 down against Nick Kyrgios. Thiem seems to be ver motivated to get his game on track and win some titles in 2021.
I expect this to be a tight 3-set match, with both players seeing a lot of break point chances. However, at the end of the day, only one can come through to the Quarter-Finals. This is going to be Dominic Thiem.
Free Tennis Preview and Prediction: Dominic Thiem in 3 Sets.