TennisSection previews the 2021 Lyon Open as Dominic Thiem (1) meets Cameron Norrie in the Round of 16 on Thursday May 20th, 2021.
Can the world number four Dominic Thiem build some momentum as he gears up for an assault on the French Open title? Or will Cameron Norrie cause yet another upset as he has so often throughout his career? The Austrian will start as the big favorite here at the 2021 Lyon Open, but he has been in mixed form since his return to the tour. Will he get the win over the Brit and advance to the Quarter-Finals here?
Dominic Thiem is currently ranked #4 in the ATP world rankings and has had a poor season by his high standards. After a breakthrough 2020 season the Austrian #1 has not found the same success, with several early round losses leading him to take a break to recharge mentally. He made a bright return with a Semi-Final showing at the Madrid Masters, but then was upset by the red-hot Lorenzo Sonego in Rome. Thiem has been one of the top clay court players in the world over the past few years and would usually be considered one of the contenders for the crown in Paris, but his mixed form and uncertainty about his mental state mean that is no longer the case. He should never be counted out though, and he will be hoping for a big win here over Cameron Norrie at the 2021 Lyon Open to build some momentum for Roland Garros.
Cameron Norrie is unseeded here at the 2021 Lyon Open, and is ranked #49 in the ATP world rankings. Normally better known for his hard court play, the Brit has been in sensational form so far this season on clay, reaching the Final in Estoril and Quarter-Final in Barcelona. Those performances look even better when one considers that he only nine career wins on the surface before this year. While he doesn’t have any huge weapons, his gritty style makes him a very difficult opponent and he fights for every point. He has looked good so far here in Lyon, defeating the solid Corentin Moutet and will be backing himself to do well here against Dominic Thiem despite being the big underdog.
This will be the second meeting between the two players on the ATP Tour, with Thiem leading the head to head series 1-0. They played each other in 2018 in Acapulco, with the Austrian winning a tough three setter. While it looks like a mismatch on paper especially due to the surface, this match has the potential to be a tricky one for the number one seed. Thiem has struggled this year, while Cameron Norrie has been on a hit-streak lately. Despite this, I am backing Dominic Thiem to win here. I don’t expect it to be easy at all against the tricky Norrie, but Thiem is simply too experienced and should power through here. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to three sets, but expect the Austrian to win here, advancing to the Quarter-Finals at the 2021 Lyon Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Dominic Thiem to win.