Fourth-ranked Dominic Thiem will be up against 128th-ranked Gianluca Mager in the quarterfinals of the Rio Open on Friday, February 21. The match will start off at around 5.30 pm local time (or 9.30 pm BST) and you can find the Dominic Thiem v Gianluca Mager live streaming options along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Dominic Thiem v Gianluca Mager Head to Head
This will be the first meeting between Austria’s Dominic Thiem and Gianluca Mager of Italy.
Thiem’s Scraping Through to the Quarters
In the two matches Thiem has played since the end of the Australian Open where he was the runner-up, he has been stretched to three sets. In the first round it was the little-known 341st-ranked Felipe Meligeni who won the second set much to the surprise of everyone while round two saw Jaume Munar dish out a similar treatment.
This time though, the Spaniard took the first set in a tie-breaker before Thiem had to claw back to claim the next two 6-3, 6-4. In making it to his fourth quarterfinal at Rio, Thiem was a set and a break down before using up two hours, 41 minutes to break his opponent’s resistance and move ahead.
While his struggles could come as a surprise to some, the match was also an indicator of how difficult it is to beat Thiem on clay and why he’s often called a successor to Rafael Nadal. Mere mortals might have thrown in the towel from the situation he was in, but with a clear chance to make it to the world number three in the rankings very soon following the Roger Federer surgery announcement, he fought as well as one has seen him.
Mager’s Surprise Run Continues
Well, technically, the surprise from Mager came in the first round when when the Italian qualifier came up trumps against the much-fancied Casper Ruud. A 7-6, 7-5 win for Mager would have given him a solid boost so that when he went up against Joao Domingues in the second round, the obvious difference in class was on offer.
Mager needed just two sets to demolish Domingues, winning 6-3, 7-6 and made it to the last eight but what is surprising is this run of four wins in a row – including two in the qualifiers – comes on the back of just one win in the main draw of competitions before this one.
Getting past Thiem will be too much to expect but having made it to his first ever ATP quarterfinal, even a loss to the Austrian should see him touch a career-high ranking next week. Can he push his opponent like the others have so far though?
Dominic Thiem v Gianluca Mager Predictions & Tips
Opponents had their chances against Thiem but missed them and now the Austrian, if fit, can expect to get on with his game. A straight-set win looks the most likely result here even with Mager going all out.
Tip: Thiem to win in straight sets: 1/2 (Click here to get these odds with Unibet)