TennisSection previews the 2021 Rome Open as Dominic Thiem (4) meets Lorenzo Sonego in the Round of 16 on Thursday May 13th, 2021.
Can fourth seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem continue his strong return to the ATP Tour? Or will the unseeded Italian be able to cause the shocking upset here on home soil? Both men have started their 2021 Rome Open campaigns strongly, who will win here and advance to the Quarter-Finals?
Dominic Thiem is the #4 seed here at the 2021 Rome Open, and is currently ranked #4 in the world rankings. After a strong showing in 2020 where he finally won his breakthrough first Grand Slam title at the US Open, he is having a poor season thus far in 2021. On his return to the tour he made it to the Semi-Finals in Madrid, a positive result for the Austrian star. While his fitness is clearly not quite where it used to be yet, he is still one of the very best clay court players in the world and must be considered a favorite for the title in Rome. He struggled against Marton Fucsovics in the Second Round, being down match points before finishing strongly, winning 6-0 in the third. The Austrian will have to be better against Lorenzo Sonego, who has looked very impressive so far.
Lorenzo Sonego is currently ranked #33 in the ATP world rankings and is unseeded in his home tournament here at the 2021 Rome Open. The Italian rose to prominence by having a strong breakthrough season in 2020, including a straight-sets demolition of world number one Novak Djokovic. After defeating Gael Monfils in a tough three setter in the opening round, he beat Gianluca Mager 6-4, 6-4 in an assured performance. Sonego is never lacking in confidence and has a very attacking all-around game. While he enters this match against Dominic Thiem as the huge underdog, he will know that his opponent is not quite at his best, as evidenced by his struggles against Marton Fucsovics. Sonego will still have to be at his absolute best to get any sort of result here.
This will be the second time that the two players have faced each other on the ATP Tour, with Dominic Thiem leading the head to head series 1-0. They played each other in Kitzbuhel in 2019, with Thiem getting a tough two set win. While he is still clearly not back at his best, I expect Dominic Thiem to get the win here. He is much more experienced than Lorenzo Sonego, and I expect that to be the difference here. The Italian has the quality to make it interesting, but expect the fourth seed to grind out yet another tough win here at the 2021 Rome Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win.