Acapulco QF previews and picks: Thiem vs. Dimitrov, Querrey vs. Fritz

Seeds may be in shambles this week in Acapulco, but two of the three remaining ones will face each other when Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov meet on Thursday. Quarterfinal action also features Americans Sam Querrey and Taylor Fritz.

(7) Grigor Dimitrov vs. (4) Dominic Thiem

Thiem and Dimitrov will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they battle for a place in the semifinals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel on Thursday night. Thus continues a grueling stretch for Thiem, who captured the Buenos Aires title with a pair of third-set tiebreaker wins over Rafael Nadal and Nicolas Almagro, reached the Rio de Janeiro semis, and has two victories under his belt in Acapulco at the expense of Damir Dzumhur and Dmitry Tursunov. The 15th-ranked Austrian is a stellar 15-4 for his 2016 campaign.

Thiem after win

Looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2015 season, Dimitrov has now advanced at least two rounds at all five of his events this year. Still, it could be better for the 26th-ranked Bulgarian because he fell to underdog Rajeev Ram in last week’s Delray Beach semis. A return trip to Acapulco appears to be just what the doctor ordered for Dimitrov, who lifted the trophy in 2014. He has not dropped a set so far while defeating Americans Denis Kudla and Donald Young. His comfort level at his event combined with Thiem’s fatigue could make for what would be a moderate upset on paper.

Pick: Dimitrov in 2

(Q) Taylor Fritz vs. Sam Querrey

With each passing week, it seems like Fritz’s rise only gets more and more hard to believe. It is already unprecedented in the history of the ATP World Tour. Thirteen months ago (last January), Fritz was outside the top 1000. As recently as October 11 of last fall, he was No. 694 in the world. Still just 18 years and four months old, the on-fire American is projected to reach the top 80 even if he loses on Thursday. Fritz’s 2016 season already features a Challenger title in Australia, a runner-up finish in Memphis, and now a quarterfinal showing as a qualifier in Acapulco. The Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. native has advanced this week with main-draw wins over Jeremy Chardy and Victor Estrella Burgos.

Next up for Fritz is a first-ever meeting with Querrey. The 6’6” American is coming off a semifinal performance in Memphis and he avenged his loss there by upsetting Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-3 on Wednesday. Querrey preceded that result by crushing Dudi Sela 6-2, 6-0 during first-round action. The world No. 43, however, is prone to letting himself become satisfied with results before tournaments are over and that may be the case again following a defeat of Nishikori. Fritz, on the other hand, could not be hungrier to see his assault on the rankings continue.

Pick: Fritz in 3

24 Comments on Acapulco QF previews and picks: Thiem vs. Dimitrov, Querrey vs. Fritz

  1. Thiem in 3

    Dimitrov has been playing well in Acapulco and I think he will get the first set. But I believe Thiem will frustrate him with his counter punching in the later sets and eventually force him to make unforced errors on his back hand side.

    Fritz in 3

    Its going to come down to whomever attacks the second serve return and I think Fritz has a better game off the baseline. Querreys game is predicated off of his offense and at some point the fatigue of Del Ray Beach and the his mental efforts from Nishikori should not be ignored. Fritz’ performance against Steve Johnson showed me he was going to be fearless of his American brethren. In my opinion he’s got Top 50 Talent currently and he’s proving it at almost every tournament he’s played.

      • I love this kid’s game Ricky! I haven’t been this excited over a new young prospect since Nadal’s first French Open! I truly believe this kid is gonna eclipse Tsonga, Gasquet, or Ferrer, for their Top 10 Ranking by year’s end!

        • Only reason I picked Dimitrov is because Thiem has played so much tennis, winning BA, SF in Rio, and is coming of that tough QF 3 set match. But Dimi just isn’t going in the same direction or is as focused on progressing at the rate Dominic is. My guess.

          Poor Dom looking like a shiny wet seal again tonight and Dimi is completely cool and dry like Federer used to be — except Dom is the one winning. Team Thiem!

          • Honestly, I stopped worrying about Thiem’s conditioning after the Nadal win and the Ferrer win. I’ve realized that his cardio conditioning has to be Top 10 Tier level after those wins so I’ve just treated him as such. Hard to argue against his results so far

            • Good point about his conditioning. Was observing the contrast between soaking wet Thiem and cool, dry Dimitrov. Profuse sweating or hardly any sweating might not be a measure of fitness but something else entirely. I don’t know. As long as he’s replacing fluids and not getting in trouble. He’s fine, I’d say!

  2. I had the pleasure of watching Fritz play last year at the Las Vegas Challenger. I watched him lose to Alex Sarkissian but it was like his second ATP level event. I’m just glad he’s finally exercising that potential. Glad he didn’t attend USC and joined the Pro Tour! I don’t think he he would have faired to well on calling his own lines in College as opposed to having lines judges and Hawk Eye Technology…

  3. I didn’t see the match but I see Thiem beat him pretty handily so I’m not that upset I didn’t get to see it. So will we have our first three setter of today’s Acapulco action between Sam and Taylor? C’mon Fritz!!

    • I crashed out last night and missed all the matches. Just watched Thiem-Dimi on catch up. Riveting stuff.
      So pleased my initial faith in the young Thiem was not misplaced – tipped him as the best of the young guns two years ago.

  4. Fritz on fire. Sam not so much. Taylor looking like he could win this one with ease. He just smoked a forehand for 1-0 in the second. VAMOS FRITZ!!????

  5. Sam is a break up in the decider. It’s a bridge too far for Taylor, I fear. Sam is confident and serving well – serve and forehand clicking. Not sure Taylor can get the break back.
    Fight until the bitter end, Fritzy!

  6. Horrible game from Fritz at 3-3 in the second is what caused this imo. Since then Querrey has picked up his level and taken advantage of that crucial lapse from Fritz. Fritz has picked it back up in the second with some fantastic shot making but he needs to try to find a way to break Querrey back. C’mon Taylor!!

  7. Shout out that both Sloane Stephens and Christina McHale made the Acapulco SF’s! We could have an all-American Final, Benny G.

    Nobody reads the WTA thread – sneaking this bit of news in here… as Taylor is facing the end 🙁

  8. Kinda disappointed with how that went. It seemed to me Fritz hit better overall. He had so much momentum up a set and 3-2 and up 0-30 on Querrey’s serve or something like that and he lost the game then just handed Sam the break the very next game and the match just slipped from his fingertips. I feel like Taylor just had lapses in concentration that gave Sam breaks and Sam’s serve carried him through. Still Taylor got four wins in Mexico this week so that’s pretty solid result for him even if he couldn’t close this one out. He’s projected to hit 80 in the world now. Dang. I really was hoping for a Fritz/Thiem showdown rather than Querrey/Thiem. Or Fritz/Dimitrov. Pretty much would’ve liked to see Fritz go up against either Dimitrov or Thiem. Would’ve been interesting to see how that would’ve gone.

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