Dominic Thiem looks to make it six straight wins over Gael Monfils when the two top 10 stars clash in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Monday.
Dominic Thiem 🇦🇹 vs Gael Monfils 🇫🇷 Match Info
Date: Monday January 27
Tournament: Australian Open R16
Court: Rod Laver Arena
Time: 12.30pm local time (1.30am GMT)
Dominic Thiem vs Gael Monfils Head-to-Head
Thiem leads 5-0
2019 | French Open R16 | Thiem 6-4 6-4 6-2
2018 | Buenos Aires SF | Thiem 6-2 6-1
2017 | Indian Wells R16 | Thiem 6-3 6-2
2016 | ATP Finals RR | Thiem 6-3 1-6 6-4
2015 | Umag SF | Thiem 1-6 6-3 6-1
Dominic Thiem vs Gael Monfils Match Preview
Into the Australian Open fourth round for the third time in his career, can Thiem remain unbeaten against Monfils to advance into his first quarter-final in Melbourne?
After beating Adrian Mannarino in straight sets in the opening round, Thiem has found himself in a pair of big battles, firstly overcoming Australian wildcard Alex Bolt in five sets – where he was helped out considerably by Bolt’s fatigue from his opening round five-setter – and Saturday’s third round clash with Taylor Fritz, which he won in four sets. Thiem saved six of seven break points against the rising American, but he could have easily found himself going the distance once more after Fritz snatched the third set in a tiebreak. In the end, Fritz faltered towards the end of the fourth, producing a horrific double fault when serving to stay in the match to hand Thiem a 6-2 6-4 6-7(5) 6-4 victory.
When asked about his R16 date with Monfils, the fifth seed said he was looking forward to an entertaining contest.
“It’s always fun to play against him. Such a great athlete. Such a great sportsman. We had fun and great encounters in the past. I expect similar,” Thiem said. “[It’s] going to be a nice atmosphere, as well. He’s such a good shot-maker, always amazing rallies against him. He got back into Top 10 last year, playing great as well in the beginning of this year.
“I’m expecting a tough encounter. But second week of a Slam is special. Every opponent is playing outstanding tennis. It’s going to be a really good and tough match.”
After making his first hardcourt Grand Slam quarter-final at the U.S. Open in 2018, pushing Rafael Nadal all the way to a fifth set tiebreak, Thiem took his hardcourt game to another level in 2019, winning his first Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells and capturing 500-level silverware in Beijing and Vienna, while he also finished runner-up at the ATP Finals in London, a tournament where he traditionally rarely won at in the past.
Thiem traditionally doesn’t start the seasons on fire, but he working his way nicely into a potential quarter-final showdown with Nadal in Melbourne – that is if he manages to get past one of the game’s most unpredictable talents on Monday.
Playing the Australian Open for the 15th time this fortnight, Monfils is one win away from matching his best result in Melbourne, which was a quarter-final showing back in 2016. Monfils has advanced to the Round of 16 for the fourth time this week in fairly routine fashion, accounting for Yen Hsun-Lu in straight sets in the opening round, the big-serving Ivo Karlovic in four sets in the second round and resurgent qualifier Ernests Gulbis in straight sets in the third round on Saturday.
Monfils’ quarter-final in Melbourne came during his career-best 2016 season, where he reached his best ranking of No. 6 after also reaching the U.S. Open semi-finals and won the 500 Citi Open title in Washington DC. Unfortunately, as has been the case throughout his career, Monfils wasn’t able to remain in the top 10 over the next couple of seasons due to injury, but he quietly put together a superb 2019, ending the year back inside the top 10 after winning his eighth career title in Rotterdam and reaching semi-finals at the Canada Masters, Dubai, Vienna and Sofia, along with making the U.S. Open and French Open fourth round.
Both Monfils and Thiem only recorded one win in the ATP Cup prior to the Australian Open, but now one of them will be reaching the quarter-finals at the first slam of the season on Monday.
Dominic Thiem vs Gael Monfils Prediction
Thiem holds a dominant 5-0 record over Monfils and I’d be surprised if the Frenchman was able to get on the board in Melbourne. Three of those wins have come on clay, but Thiem has been able to suffocate Monfils and his flair with his bludgeoning groundstrokes and muscular style of play, which basically keeps the World No. 10 pinned behind the baseline. Monfils will need to be very aggressive in order to come out on top, but that’s not his natural game. If Thiem is striking the ball cleanly, he’ll be making a first Australian Open quarter-final.