TennisSection previews the 2022 Kitzbuhel Open as Dominic Thiem takes on Yannick Hanfmann in the quarterfinal on Thursday, July 28th, 2022.
A semifinal place beckons for home favorite Dominic Thiemwhose resurgence is gathering some serious pace. But will heget over the hurdle when he takes on Yannick Hanfmann? Given the kind of the season he has had so far, the Austrian could be vulnerable to another defeat.
Dominic Thiem has been made to work extremely hard at this week’s Kitzbuhel Open. In fairness, Thiem has been through a minefield this year in his quest to win matches. After opening the season with seven straight defeats, the 2020 US Open champion has found his footing in the past two weeks. Thiem’sconfidence has returned as a result of winning matches consistently. A quarterfinal run in Bastad kick started his renaissance and has since reached the semifinals in Gstaad, and is now looking to hit double-digit match wins for the season on home soil. Thiem was pushed hard by compatriot Sebastian Ofner in his Round of 16 encounter on Wednesday, but played at higher level to avoid the upset. Can he continue the trend in his last eight showdown against Yannick Hanfmann?
Yannick Hanfmann, for his part, progressed into his first ATP quarterfinal since February. Historically, Hanfmann tends to hit a purple patch at this time of the year. He benefitted from Gerald Melzer’s retirement in the first round before holding off Ivan Gakhov in the Round of 16 on Wednesday. He saved all 10 break points against the Russian lucky loser, and will need to be clutch again when he takes on former Kitzbuhel Open champion Dominic Thiem.
Dominic Thiem and Yannick Hanfmann have not clashed on the ATP Tour. Their quarterfinal match at the Kitzbuhel Open will be their first official meeting. Thiem will be the overwhelming favorite, but has developed a knack of overcomplicating matters for himself this season. That was nearly the case against Ofneron Wednesday before he prevailed in three. His game is coming together, with some nice balance between the power off the ground and his general feel on the ball. Hanfmann will need to serve superbly, even better than in his match against Gakhov. But it would still be a tall order for the German journeyman to pull the rabbit out of the hat in this one.
Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Dominic Thiem in 3 Sets.
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