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Austria’s Dominic Thiem seeks to win his home tournament against Albert Ramos-Vinolas (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)
Austria’s Dominic Thiem seeks to win his home tournament against Albert Ramos-Vinolas (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)|Associated Press
Tennis

Kitzbuhel Saturday final: Abrams picks Dominic Thiem vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Match starts at 9 am EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Generali Open

Kitzbuhel, Austria

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Men’s Finals

Dominic Thiem over Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Just how good is Dominic Thiem? Well, truthfully, it all depends on surface. On grass he’s not a threat to win tournaments if the top guys are there. On hard, he’s dangerous, but absolutely beatable. But on clay, he’s the best….or second best. It’s kinda hard to rate anyone over the Great Overlord, Rafa Nadal, on clay. He has, after all, won twelve French Opens, and, although he’s not unbeatable, he’s almost unbeatable. So Thiem is the second best clay court player in the world, and this tournament is on clay.

Thiem has played Albert Ramos-Vinolas, ranked #69 in the world, twice. When they played on hard courts, the Spaniard beat him in straight sets. But when they played on clay, Thiem won in straight sets. This in not necessarily unusual for Thiem. He’s been pretty dominant on clay for the past two years, although, like any human, he will occasionally throw in a bad performance due to the brutal Tour schedule, so I don’t really have to go out on a limb to pick Thiem. I think he’ll win, and I think he’ll continue his clay court domination and, in time, will figure out how to win on other surfaces against top-notch competition.

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