Thomas Fabbiano vs Dominic Thiem US Open Picks 8/27/2019
Thomas Fabbiano vs Dominic Thiem
10 am EST, 27th August 2019
New York, NY (USA)
It's safe to say that Thomas Fabbiano is a late bloomer. He is 30 years old and ranked 87th in the world. That number is pretty close to his highest rank. Only a couple of years ago, he was more of a challenger tour player. There were not many indications that he'll be able to raise the level of his game later on and become a regular on the ATP tour. But it happened. He is probably having the best season of his career. The grass-court season was great for him. First, he reached the semifinals in Eastbourne and then went on to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and Ivo Karlovic in Wimbledon, before eventually being eliminated by Fernando Verdasco. I think those results were great for him to realize that he can play with the very best when he is on top of his game. That end of the grass-court season and transition to clay courts was the best for him. He lost in first rounds of both Umag and Kitzbuhel. But, I think he could get himself going again in some faster conditions, which suit his game better. His record in the main draw of US Open is currently 2-3, with his best result being 3rd round in 2017.
Before this year's draw, I was sure he can match or beat that result in 2019. But unfortunately for him, he will have to go through Dominic Thiem to do that. It is going to be very difficult, but it's not mission impossible. We all know that the Austrian prefers the clay courts over any other surfaces. And he's shown some vulnerability on faster courts this year. On hard courts, he is 8-4 this year. But 6 of those in Indian Wells, which probably has the slowest hard courts on the tour. In some other events, we've seen him losing to players like Alexei Popyrin, Hubert Hurkacz, and Pierre-Hughes Herbert. In New York, he's done well so far (15-5) but is under a lot of pressure to defend 360 points from last year, when he lost to Rafa Nadal in quarterfinals.
Fabbiano's game is a better fit for such conditions. He doesn't construct the points that well, using topspin or creating angles to open up the court and work from there. He is all about clean ball striking. Power, precision, and depth. Taking away time from his opponent, pushing him back and putting pressure on him.
With Thiem, it's the complete opposite. Aggressive forehand topspin, trying to create a high bounce on the other side and putting his opponent in an uncomfortable position to take the shot. It's a style that can be lethal on clay but doesn't have as much impact on other surfaces. It will be crucial for the Italian to play close to the baseline, use his touch and hit those balls on the rise.
Betting odds & prediction
As expected, the odds here were lopsided from the get-go. Thiem was opened as a 10 to 1 favorite, but that got corrected later, with some money coming in on the underdog. Spread is currently at +7.5 games, while the total is sitting at 31. Those lines are saying that anything but a comprehensive victory by Thiem would be a big surprise. But I'm not so sure about that. I believe that Fabbiano has enough skill to make this match interesting. Especially in these playing conditions, which take away some of Thiem's biggest weapons. Or at least make them less dangerous.
Pick: over 31 games (-108)
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