AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2018 MAIN DRAW

Here you can watch the draw ceremony, starting at 7.00 CET.

DRAW CEREMONY LIVE

11.01.2018 Update 7:27

My apologies. Too fast and thus not precise at converting time zones 😉 The ceremony starts at 9.00 CET.


DRAW IS OUT

Thiem is drawn in the bottom half with Federer  on another end (potential opponent first in semifinal).

And here is his quarter

So his potential path to the second week is:

Pella>Steve Johnson>Mannarino/Krajinovic>Agut/Wawrinka

Then in QF Alex Zverev or Djokovic.

Wawrinka is not likely to reach 4. round. Djokovic is unlikely to reach QF, so the most probable opponent is Zverev.

IMPORTANT: all his  “Angstgegners“: are potentially to meet first in semifinal (Goffin or Delpo, whoever from them wins in 4. round and then defeats Federer or … in final. Schwartzman, Dimitrov, Ferrer, Kyrgios, Anderson, Rublev, Shapovalov, Tsitsipas sitting in the upper half and waiting to meet Rafa.

To meet Goffin/Delpo/Federer in SF would be nice and still some chances to reach the final.


Thiem-Rafa practice match on Margaret Court

early in the morning today (so hopefully Dominic fit again 🙂

THIEM-NADAL PRACTICE


12.01.2018 Update 13:32

This needs some comment.

Dominic’s withdrawal from Kooyong was probably not caused by continuing virus but by the chance to have a sharp competitive sparring (was not exhibition as no public was there) with Nadal, having for sure a lot more value than exho hitting against Pouille.

What Dominic can learn from Rafa; he cannot from anyone, including Federer. They are both big clay court players. But Rafa has some long experience in adapting clay court game to hard courts to be able to get some big wins on hard too.  This is something you cannot learn from Federer, who must rather adapt his hard/grass court game to clay (and this was maybe the reason for Federer to offer Thiem common season’s preparation  if Fed wanted to play Paris this year).

Moreover, Thiem and Nadal seem to have some well founded tour-based friendship, not only because of being the 2 best clay players but maybe first of all because of similar work ethic. While Thiem doesn’t need to learn it from Rafa in training, he can still learn, how to behave fighting spirit, endurance, mental resistance, all-time ability to overcome difficult moments and never give-up mentally.

Most of you will smile or laugh, but who knows – maybe just preparing for the AO final in just this pairing? Would be nice to see both on court last Sunday 🙂


(Translated from German by PRF)

Original article in German is here

Image from GEPA

Alert cancelled for Thiem after training with Nadal

via Sky Sport Austria

12.01.2018, 12:17

Melbourne (APA) – At least a slight “all-clear”-signal comes from Dominic Thiem’s team. Thiem, who was lastly not fully fit because of a virus infection, had Friday in Melbourne a training match with Rafael Nadal and the impression was quite good. Because his first match against Guido Pella (ARG) is scheduled first for Tuesday, he gets another welcomed day for recovery.

In the true test match at Margaret Court-Arena, including chair umpire, lines people and ball kids, Thiem was close and lost only 7:6,2:6,8:10. Actually Thiem have scheduled another training in the afternoo,n but the heavy rain did not allow to play.

The decision to let play the upper half of the men’s draw and the bottom half of women’s draw on Tuesday does mean, that both other Austrians in singles competition will play on the start day. Andreas Haider-Maurer, profiting of his protected ranking, plays Alexandr Dolgopolow, Gerald Melzer plays Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The third round match of Dennis Novak in qualifications against Go Soeda (JPN) will not start before Saturday (local time).


BTW – Kiki plays same day as Dominic, so no possibility to support each other directly from the players box.


12.01.2018 Update 19:41

Once more my apologies. When translating I made a mistake about when which half of a draw is set to play. And it’s just the opposite – the upper half (men)  and lower half (women) are set for Monday and lower half of men’s draw (Thiem, Federer, Delpo, Goffin, Zverev..) + lower half of women’s draw (Mladenovic) are set to play on Tuesday.


13.01.2018 Update 18:38

Bresnik interview with LAOLA1

(translated  by PRF)

Photomontage by GEPA

A roller coaster ride of emotions for Austrian tennis fans in the first days of the new year.

After Dominic Thiem’s strong start, reaching Doha semi-finals Thiem worries his supporters with a feverish virus disease and the associated question mark over his start at Australian Open on Monday.

Thiem pulled out from the tournament in Doha, traveled

to Australia a little late and lost there on Wednesday at the invitation tournament “Kooyong Classic” against Novak Djokovic.

Strong performance against Nadal

“He has played from scratch”, says Bresnik and recommends to calm down. “This was due rather to jetlag than disease.”

After a day break, a test match against Rafael Nadal (7:6,2:6,8:10) on Friday was positive. “Dominic played really well, the level of the match was very high, “says Bresnik, and adds, that Thiem “has now forgotten the whole story”.

Read here how the 24-year-old is preparing for his first appearance in Melbourne on Tuesday, why it is difficult to judge the earlier meetings with his opening opponent Guido Pella and how Dominic Thiem is feeling at the moment:

LAOLA1: The most important question: Is Dominic now fit and healthy?

Günter Bresnik: I believe that he has now overcome the whole story. Today, for the first time since the illness, he has been practicing normally again.

LAOLA1: Can you please describe the exact course of the disease?

Bresnik: He had a day of fever in Doha, did nothing for four days and then went to Australia. This is of course tedious, if you have to cope with a time change of ten hours after that. Nothing is running as smoothly as it should. It takes time for the conversion, but it should be done by now.

LAOLA1: A sinus constipation is certainly not pleasant when you fly to Australia.

Bresnik: I’m not a doctor and I don’t want to make a medical statement or discuss the whole thing in detail. It’s absurd when everything is always so dramatized. Regular people goes to work normally in this physical condition. In the case of a competitive athlete, however, only slight restrictions are enough to prevent the expected performance. It’s dangerous for your health when you go there. That’s why he doesn’t go out with a fever and stays in bed for two or three days longer. If you’re out of action for five or six days, it’ll just take a few days to get you back on track.

LAOLA1: Did come the game against Novak Djokovic at the exhibition tournament in Kooyong on Wednesday too early for Dominic?

Bresnik: That was due rather to jetlag than illness. You can’t get off the plane and play the next day. He was playing local time at 1:00 p. m., that’s 3:00 am in Austria. Anyone who knows Dominic knows also that he is rarely awake at 3 a.m.

LAOLA1: Dominic will play his first rounds match at the Australian Open on Tuesday. The one extra day of regeneration won’t be inconvenient, will it?

Bresnik: Absolutely. As with the disease, however, we have no influence on these things. That’s why I don’t deal with it at all.

 

LAOLA1: Let’s talk about Dominic’s first opponent Guido Pella. Their H2H is 0:2. What can you say about him?

Bresnik: A tough opponent. And playing very well tight now, but in Doha he lost to Rublev in semi-finals. However, you don’t find even ten players in the entire starting field who would mean a “safe win”. Pella is really uncomfortable. He is left-handed, plays extremely solidly from the baseline, moves excellently and his game is smart.

LAOLA1: How did the two games against Dominic go so far?

Bresnik: Two years ago, he lost in Rio, where Dominic played doubles until late last night and won the tournament in Buenos Aires the week before. The other match was last season in Chengdu, where he just had this bad phase at the end of the year. So, I can’t really estimate these defeats. The decisive factor for me is his current form and this fits Pella in any case.

LAOLA1: Will you give Dominic any tactical recommendations?

Bresnik: I will not discuss publicly any possible weaknesses of the opponent. Basically, Dominic’s own game stays always in the foreground. If he’s playing well, he’s in advantage. This is also the case with Pella. I hope that he will play on one of the three big courts, so he can play even with bad weather.

LAOLA1: What are the plans for the next few days?

Bresnik: On Saturday he trains with Andrey Rublev and then with Kevin Anderson. On Sunday he will play against two left-handers, Federico Delbonis and Albert Ramos-Vinolas. On Monday he will probably play against Fernando Verdasco – in any case again against a left-handed player.

LAOLA1: On Friday Dominic lost a test match in the Margaret-Court-Arena against Rafael Nadal, which was held with chair umpire, line people and ballkids, with 7:6, 2:6, 8:10 in the match tiebreak. What do you think about this match?

Bresnik: Nadal wanted to play this match under real tournament conditions including spectators. Dominic played really well, the level of the match was very high. Dominic has no physical deficits and is after Tenerife as fit as never before in his life. Also, the matches in Doha were good. Almost everything you’d expect from him was there. He played Djokovic from scratch – that was completely worthless.

LAOLA1: What do you expect from Djokovic and Nadal after their comebacks from injury breaks?

Bresnik: Djokovic plays well. People from this format don’t drive to Melbourne to collect their prize money or win two or three rounds. He certainly has the feeling that he will make it to the quarter-finals or even more. Although, of course, it is very difficult to assess his level at the moment. Nadal is already in a very good mood. We’ll see how they do in best-of-5 matches.

LAOLA1: Your top favorite is Roger Federer?

Bresnik: Federer is probably the top favorite for everyone. Alexander Zverev’s potential is also very difficult to estimate because he took a very long break. Grigor Dimitrov is certainly a candidate for the title. David Goffin is currently playing very well. With Wawrinka I don’t dare to make any assessments at all because of his long injury break.


14.01.2018 Update 09:38

Day 1 – matches of the day

  • Tsitsipas vs. Shapovalov – prediction: Tsitsipas 3:2
  • Tiafoe vs. del Potro – prediction: del Potro 3:1

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2 Replies to “AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2018 MAIN DRAW”

  1. My pleasure, wilfried 🙂 It’s the main idea of this blog to bring so many information as possible about Thiem to English speakers. My opinions are of course only … my opinions. I would like to hear other opinions, if you (and others) like 🙂 They are always welcome. I’m not a guru or definitive expert 😉

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