Men's Semi-Finals: Thiem - Medvedev. A Preview
Both players come into the semi-final on the back of impressive straight-sets wins. Thiem dominated his weaker Australian opponent under the lights, while Medvedev showed a lot of class to not drop a set to the in-form and dangerous Rublev. Tomorrow night's match will be won by the player who can execute their bread-and-butter plays more effectively.
What Thiem Must Do.
Thiem loves playing from his mound in the backhand corner. From here he can dictate play with his forehand and also be in position early when setting up for his backhand. If Medvedev allows Thiem to camp out here during rallies he will struggle to win the majority of baseline points. Thiem must get Medvedev moving when given a forehand from the mound, either wide to the Ad court, or more importantly, inside-in enough to get Medvedev playing a weaker shot. The more forehands Medvedev has to play, the more likely Thiem will win. This play from Rublev demonstrates the X's and O's of this mound play perfectly.
Medvedev loves to exchange backhands and draw guys into a cat-and-mouse baseline affair. Thiem, like Rublev here, needs to have none of that. Attack and move the big Russian. Make it a game of forehands.
What Medvedev Must Do
Medvedev has the ability to go line with his backhand even when under extreme pressure. His ability to keep it low and flat means he doesn't have to hit it that hard for it to be effective. In my opinion, Medvedev needs to use this play a lot to keep Thiem off balance and off his mound. Thiem is going to be the one looking to dictate and play offensively more so than Medvedev, but Medvedev's line backhand will be a huge factor in how effectively he is allowed to do this. If Medvedev goes early with his line backhand, I think he will have the upper hand.
Just the Jist
Whoever can attack the opponent's forehand corner more effectively will win this match. Thiem can go line from his mound with both wings. Medvedev can pull the trigger with his backhand from deep and defensive positions. Both guys come into this with form and fitness. A night match under the lights of Ashe means conditions will get a little slower as it wears on. I think this favours Thiem ever so slightly, who will use a clay court playbook to pull Medvedev wide with his serves and then quickly attack the open court.
Thiem in 5 sets.
Thiem is a $2.08 underdog.
Have A Real Go
Thiem to win exactly 3 sets to 2. $5.50