Miami Open Last Sixteen Preview Novak Djokovic Versus Dominic Thiem

Thiem Djokovic Miami Open

Photo courtesy of www.zimbio.com

The Miami Open last sixteen features one of the season’s most intriguing match ups- the world No.1 Novak Djokovic versus one of the hottest players of the season world No.14 Dominic Thiem. The Tennis Review previews the action and predicts the winner.

History: Djokovic won their sole meeting 6-3, 6-4 in the round of 32 at the 2014 Shanghai Open.

Watch highlights of Djokovic-Thiem at Shanghai 2014 below

Form coming in: Novak Djokovic is still dominating the tour, winning the Australian Open and Indian Wells. The only blip in 2016 has been his retirement from his Dubai quarter-final versus Feliciano Lopez.

Djokovic has been creating history left, right and center and it does not look like this is going to come to an end anytime soon, which is what makes this match up so interesting.

While the likes of Murray and Federer have been unable to get in Djokovic’s way, it will be interesting to see if one of the season’s breakout stars can do so. Thiem, one of those stars, has made his presence felt on the ATP Tour in 2016 winning titles in Buenos Aires and Acapulco and scoring wins over Nadal and Ferrer along the way.

This Miami Open he is looking good, too, beating Groth and Nishioka in straights.

Who should win?: Djokovic. Thiem has not faced anyone like Djokovic in his recent run- after all, there is no one like the Serb. No one has the all round strength and  consistency of the world No.1 and no one else is better than using an opponent’s strengths against them and exploiting their weaknesses.

This match will tell us a lot about Thiem’s game and where he is at. We know he can serve and return great, be aggressive, and be mentally tough when matches go down to the wire. The question is can he do it against the game’s very best?

Thiem can win if: he can mix it up and keep Djokovic a little out of his comfort zone on big points. Thiem also has to serve his best and stay aggressive, the only way to defeat Djokovic on these slow courts. Thiem has shown great aggression this season, but Djokovic’s passing shots and retrieving skills will force errors and raise doubts. Thiem has to be strong to withstand the pressure and maintain the self-belief that has seen him reach world No.14 this past month.

Prediction: Djokovic to win in straights. The Serb has the extra motivation of leading the ATP 1000 overall title leaderboard with 28 if he wins the Miami title, and he will be ready for a motivated and confident opponent who could be one of the big threats to his quest for the one remaining slam missing from his collection- Roland Garros- this June.

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Christian Deverille

Christian Deverille is a tennis writer with a diploma in Freelance Sports Writing from the London School of Journalism. He loves all things tennis, most of all the Federer and del Potro forehands.
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