Final previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Zverev, Thiem vs. Pouille

Fresh off his U.S. Open title, Stan Wawrinka will be eyeing more hardware when he takes the court against Alexander Zverev on Sunday in St. Petersburg. This week’s other 250-point final, in Metz, will feature Dominic Thiem and Lucas Pouille.

St. Petersburg Open: (1) Stan Wawrinka vs. (5) Alexander Zverev

Wawrinka and Zverev will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they battle for the St. Petersburg title on Sunday afternoon. They had appeared to be in line for a third-round showdown at the U.S. Open, but Zverev ended up losing to Dan Evans. That set the stage for a surprising thriller, in which Wawrinka survived a match point and eventually outlasted Evans in five sets. The rest, of course, is history; the third-ranked Swiss captured his third career Grand Slam title. Following a little more than a week’s worth of rest, Wawrinka is right back in gear at this 250-point tournament with straight-set victories over Lukas Rosol, Viktor Troicki, and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Zverev is rounding back into form on the heels of early exits at the Toronto Masters, Cincinnati Masters, and U.S. Open. The 27th-ranked German has improved to 37-21 for the season by advancing past Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev, Mikhail Youzhny, and Tomas Berdych all in straight sets. This marks Zverev’s third final of the season (previously played for titles in Nice and Halle), but he is still in search of his first ATP winner’s trophy. Based on experience and current form, Wawrinka should have the edge.

Pick: Wawrinka in 3

Moselle Open: (1) Dominic Thiem vs. (3) Lucas Pouille

Whereas Wawrinka went into St. Petersburg as a question mark because of a possible lack in motivation, Thiem’s status for Metz was up in the air due to his physical state. After playing far too many matches from January through May, the 10th-ranked Austrian slumped through the U.S. Open Series and eventually retired from a fourth-round match in Flushing Meadows against Juan Martin Del Potro. Thanks to some much-needed rest, though, Thiem looks 100 percent this week and has defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili, Gilles Muller, and Gilles Simon.
Thiem 2
Up next for the top seed on Sunday is a first-ever meeting with Pouille, who won their only previous encounter 6-4, 6-4 last year on the clay courts of Monte-Carlo. It cannot get any better for the 18th-ranked Frenchman than his five-set U.S. Open upset of Rafael Nadal en route to the quarterfinals, but a first career ATP title would certainly be nice. This is Pouille’s second final (lost to Fernando Verdasco earlier this season in Bucharest), and he punched his ticket to it by taking out Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Julien Benneteau, and David Goffin. A slight advantage goes to Thiem, who is contesting his 10th ATP final and aiming for his eighth title.

Pick: Thiem in 3

15 Comments on Final previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Zverev, Thiem vs. Pouille

  1. Zverev in 3!
    Thrilled for Sascha! first ATP ? Thought he’d give up when he was down in the third set but he kept fighting. What a match!

  2. Dang it. Stan finally loses a final. Great moment for Zverev though and that’s awesome how Pouille won too. I got that pick right at least lol.

    • Dang it. That’s what I said when I saw that Pouille beat Thiem. Not that I’m unhappy that Pouille got his first title or anything. It’s dang because of how much I love Thiem 😀 and hate it when Thiem loses. I didn’t want Dominic losing to Thiem AGAIN – dang it.

      Beyond that, it’s awesome that Pouille won!

      Good luck to Thiem in Chengdu!

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