Hoping to go one better this year, Dominic Thiem has an early problem lying in his pathway in Nick Kyrgios

There have been some fascinating battles early on in a Grand Slam and the next is set to be very interesting as 2019’s runner up Dominic Thiem takes on Nick Kyrgios.

It isn’t actually the first meeting between the two players, they did meet in 2015 on the clay in Nice but after 7 games Kyrgios pulled out injured and Thiem won so this is their proper first meeting.

Dominic Thiem coming into the Australian Open and having won the US Open that would love to go one step further having been runner-up last year won’t have been happy to see the dominate performance of Nick Kyrgios on Wednesday night in Melbourne.

The performance from Nick as he beat Ugo Humbert was absolutely sensational and hopefully shut a few up who had unfairly criticised the Aussie for looking unfit, he didn’t look unfit to me.

Nick was two sets to one down in the match and saved two match points against the Frenchman to keep his run at the Australian Open going having not played for almost 12 months deserves heaps of credit and he soaked in the atmosphere on John Cain Arena who love him!.

image credit – Getty Images

Kyrgios loves this arena and the fans love him. To be back on it against Thiem will be fantastic for him. John Cain Arena is previously known as the Melbourne Arena and is a tennis cauldron, the fans are some of the most passionate and noisy in the world and is a delight to watch tennis live on this court.

I cannot imagine Dominic Thiem is too pleased with having to play someone as good as Nick this early and on a court where it will be pretty noisy and hostile.

Dominic doesn’t have any experience against Nick and I think that is to his disadvantage more than Nicks. We know what Nick brings to the court and he can come up with moments of magic and does react quite well to his opponents play.

The Austrian has played well so far through this tournament, I wasn’t sure on his chances of winning the Australian Open following below-par performances at the ATP Cup but he will need to bring the intensity to the match.

We know how deep Thiem likes to sit behind the baseline but he will have to adapt slightly, the court on John Cain Arena doesn’t give you that much room behind the baseline and I do think he will have to come closer to the baseline and play quite a bit more at the net.

I really don’t think this is a given win for Dominic, Nick is a difficult opponent who he hasn’t properly faced before and is capable of anything and he will have to be on his guard. This match will tell us a lot about Dominic Thiem’s chances of winning this title and Nick Kyrgios will be hoping the roar of the Melbourne crowd can help propel him once again.

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