Munich QF previews and predictions: Goffin vs. Zverev, Thiem vs. Dodig

David Goffin and Dominic Thiem, the top two remaining title favorites in Munich, are one round away from a potential semifinal showdown. They first have to get past Alexander Zverev and Ivan Dodig, respectively, on Friday.

(1) David Goffin vs. (8) Alexander Zverev

Goffin and Zverev will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they collide in the quarterfinals of the BMW Open on Friday. It has already been an outstanding week for Zverev, who has been on a loss-avenging surge. The 19-year-old German opened with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Malek Jaziri, to whom he fell the week before in Barcelona. Zverev then rolled over Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday, having previously been 0-3 lifetime and 0-7 in total sets against the veteran Czech. The world No. 49 is now 15-10 this season and has won multiple matches at five tournaments.
Zverev 1
Goffin benefited from an opening-round bye as the top seed in Munich before battling past Victor Estrella Burgos 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday. The 13th-ranked Belgian is 19-7 for his 2016 campaign and is in the current discussion for World Tour Finals qualification. Having never previously advanced to the semifinals of a Masters 1000 event, Goffin made consecutive final four appearances in Indian Wells and Miami. He is coming off a third-round performance at the Monte-Carlo Masters. Goffin is not at his very best on clay and Zverev will have an easier time hitting through a relatively slow court, so this one should be competitive. In the end, however, Goffin’s consistency and counter-punching ability at the expense of the underdog’s big serves and groundstrokes should tip the scale in his favor.

Pick: Goffin in 3

Ivan Dodig vs. (3) Dominic Thiem

At 22 years old, Thiem is making a push for the top 10 and perhaps even the World Tour Finals at the end of this season–if he continues to play well on his favorite surface throughout the remainder of the spring. The 15th-ranked Austrian’s 2016 campaign includes titles in Buenos Aires and Acapulco plus semifinal showings in Brisbane and Rio de Janeiro. Thiem, who opened in Munich by beating Santiago Giraldo 7-5, 6-4 on Wednesday, recently advance to the Monte-Carlo third round before succumbing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

Up next for the No. 3 seed is a second career meeting with Dodig, who dominated their only previous encounter 6-2, 6-0 in qualifying action on the indoor hard courts of Valencia in 2012. It is safe to say Thiem and Dodig have gone in different directions since that point in time. Dodig is still one of the best players in the world in doubles, but he is struggling down at 75th in the singles rankings. The 31-year-old Croat is through to his first ATP quarterfinal since Istanbul last spring thanks to victories this week over Ernests Gulbis and Thomaz Bellucci. Thiem, of course, presents a steep step up in competition and should be way too tough for the underdog.

Pick: Thiem in 2

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