ATP Roland Garros Preview: Thiem vs Ruud

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Thiem vs Ruud (Approx 07:00pm AEST) 

There is quite a bit to unpack in this one.

From my perspective in terms of the general feel from the public in terms of this match, you could sum it up in a couple of dot points:

  • Draw announced = “tough draw in round 3 for Dominic Thiem – Casper Ruud!!!”
  • Day 4 Roland Garros = “business as usual for Thiem” and “Ruud looks too tired after 5 sets”

I am going to go against the current view of many, and back Casper Ruud in to cause the upset here. First of all we can completely squash the narrative that Ruud will be tired coming off a five set match. For perspective, his 6-1 1-6 6-3 1-6 6-3 took 14 minutes longer than Thiem’s 6-1 6-3 7-6 victory, and from my angle Ruud looked physically fresher at the end of his match than Thiem did in his.

I would have been absolutely fascinated to see a fourth set between Thiem and Jack Sock, as I got the distinct impressive that the Austrian was struggling a touch towards the end of the match, and in faster conditions on Day 4 Thiem’s first and second serve averages were down 6km/h and 4km/h respectively, and his fastest serve was down 8km/h. I felt the tide started to turn late in the second set, and you can notice it statistically as well. 

Up until 6-1 4-2, Thiem had only been taken to deuce twice, with a couple of love holds thrown in as well. Then from stepping up to serve at *5-3, the following were his service games:
– Hold to Deuce (trailed 0/30, Deuce x 2)
– Hold to 30 (trailed 15/30)
– Lost serve to 30
– Hold to Deuce (saved 1 x BP)
– Lost serve to Deuce
– Held to 15
– Held to 15

It was a significant physical push from Thiem in the last 15 minutes of the match, and the exasperation and body language from the Austrian when he fell behind 5-3 and 6-3 in the tiebreak to me looked as though it was one of pain. When he claimed the tiebreak, the noticeable relief was evident.

Ruud won’t give Thiem anywhere near as many bail out options from rallies as much has the Austrian has seen from Cilic and Sock to date. This is going to be a grind, and to me it looks to be a grind that I believe will favour Ruud. Whilst Casper did play in Hamburg last week, he has now played 2 matches over 5 days, for just over 4 hours on court. Thiem has produced 45 winners and 45 unforced errors combined across his two wins, against players with worse court coverage than Ruud. so this looks to be a bigger challenge.

There is every chance Thiem comes out and blasts Ruud off the court, however at the large price on offer today I cannot pass up having a large play at Ruud to produce an upset. This match-up doesn’t suit Thiem anywhere near as much as the last two, and if my suspicions regarding Thiem and his fatigue that was evident in Round 2, this could be significant value.

Ask yourself: Did Thiem really play that well against Cilic in round 1? Did he rely on Sock errors early in round 2? Did he look tight late? I am more than happy to attack this price, and will welcome all good, bad and indifferent feedback based on the result.

Suggested Bet

2.5 units Ruud to defeat Thiem at $7 at Topsport and Unibet

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