U.S. Open R4 previews and predictions: Thiem vs. Del Potro, Goffin vs. Rublev

It will be a rematch of a fourth-rounder from last year’s U.S. Open when Dominic Thiem and Juan Martin Del Potro meet again on Monday. A quarterfinal spot will also be at stake when David Goffin goes up against Andrey Rublev.

(24) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. (6) Dominic Thiem

Thiem and Del Potro will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers when they battle for a place in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open on Monday. Only their first meeting was played to completion, when Del Potro got the job done 7-6(5), 6-3 at the 2016 clay-court event in Madrid. They also faced each other on the same day in the same round of this same event last summer, but that showdown could not live up to the hype because Thiem retired with a knee injury while trailing 6-3, 3-2.

Thus these two have a chance to make up for what the fans missed last year, and there is every reason to think that they will do just that. Thiem is at least somewhat more rested in 2017, having cut back on his schedule to a marginal extent. The eighth-ranked Austrian has still played enough–and won enough–to register at No. 4 in the race to the World Tour Finals. He booked his spot in the last 16 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center by beating Alex De Minaur, Taylor Fritz, and Adrian Mannarino, surrendering just one set to Fritz in the process. Del Potro has not dropped a set in victories over Henri Laaksonen, Adrian Menendez-Maceiras, and Roberto Bautista Agut. The 28th-ranked Argentine has been unable to get any real momentum behind him at any point this year, but he turned in arguably the best performance of his 2017 campaign when he destroyed a previously red-hot Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday afternoon. The question now is if Del Potro has the consistency with which to produce a similar display on Monday, and he will need to do so against a confident opponent who will camp out way behind the baseline and get many of Del Potro’s huge forehands back in play. In a best-of-five situation, Thiem may be able to wear down the big man.

Pick: Thiem in 5

(9) David Goffin vs. Andrey Rublev

Rublev has been a master at making the most of opportunities this summer. In mid-July, the 19-year-old Russian lost in qualifying but got a lucky-loser spot in the main draw and ended up going all the way to his first career ATP title. He enjoyed more successful qualifying efforts at the French Open (before losing to Diego Schwartzman 9-7 in the fifth set) and Wimbledon (advanced to the second round and then lost to Albert Ramos-Vinolas in five) and played his way into direct entry for the U.S. Open. Rublev is in the midst of a breakout Grand Slam right now thanks to victories over Aljaz Bedene, Grigor Dimitrov, and Damir Dzumhur.

Up next for the world No. 53 on Monday is a first-ever meeting with Goffin. The 14th-ranked Belgian was on pace for a berth in the World Tour Finals until an ankle injury forced him to retire from a third-round match at Roland Garros and then kept him out of the grass-court swing. Goffin has not been the same since, but he is finally getting back on track in New York. The ninth seed is making a week-two appearance at the U.S. Open for the first time in his career following defeats of Julien Benneteau, Guido Pella (in five sets), and Gael Monfils (via second-set retirement). Goffin has both the experience and the smarts with which to end Rublev’s run. He will be able to put the youngster in the backhand corner as Rublev looks to pound his preferred forehand, thus opening the forehand court for Goffin to execute his favorite shot: the down-the-line backhand.

Pick: Goffin in 4

29 Comments on U.S. Open R4 previews and predictions: Thiem vs. Del Potro, Goffin vs. Rublev

  1. Rublev in 3 or 4. He’s a superstar

    Del Potro to man-up and show his grand slam pedigree with a vulnerable Fed in his sights.

    • He is good. But he’s even better than that! He’s on empty having come through qualifying. And Goffin is an easy mark for him — I don’t know why Goffin puts himself through it, his movement is clearly off due to his knee/leg.

      Rublev must have had some high level of adrenaline because he was not hitting the ball this well and appeared tired yesterday, when beating Dzumher in 4 sets. But he’s got to feel good, no matter how physically drained, making a GS Quarterfinal! Rafa next for him, lol.

      Thiem crushing Delpo right now 5-0 first set. Come on, Vamos Delpo!

  2. Commentators mentioning that Delpo is sick — but they don’t know much about about it or won’t say what’s wrong. Oh, he’s coughing..

  3. Delpotro is the most talented player since big 4. Mentally big 4 level.
    But I always feel like he has no team around, certainly his team is not at the big 4 level. So there is the problem he should fix.
    Please somebody tell me more about Del Potro, I really wish him well.

  4. That forehand from Delpo on set point was hit at least at Mac speed!!! 2 sets each!!!That forehand from Delpo was at least at Mac speed!!! 2 sets each!!!

  5. anatolijs

    Delpo would certainly have been in the big 4 or 5 had his wrists been healthy. His problem is that he can’t hit the two handed backhand like he used to, so he’s lacking one of his main weapons he had when he beat Federer at USOpen 2009. As you see the fans love him and there was a similar atmosphere working for Delpo in New York when he beat Federer all those years ago. LOL, they’re all singing Delphhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooo

    Has to be annoying at least a little to Dominic Thiem who was in the driving seat for most of this match and now about to go to a terrible fifth set.

    Everyone thought that Delpo came out sick — suffering from some kind of virus and now he’s FULL GAS. I’m a Delpo fan but I’m even a bit annoyed at the way this match is unfolding. Delpo acted like he couldn’t do squat for over 2 sets and suddenly he’s about to win! I feel sorry for Thiem at this point — though I don’t care terribly much who wins. Of course I’ll be happy for Juan Martin if he wins hahhahha but this has been another strange one.

  6. DEL PO GOD MODE ACTIVATED!! THAT FOREHADN!! Also I personally think Del Po would’ve been top 2 or 3 and maybe even 1 if he hadn’t gotten injured following the US Open title. Still has had a great career but could’ve been absolutely legendary if he had stayed healthy. He’s still not that old though.

    • Agree, Benny, top 2 or 3 😀

      But it’s not nice of him to suddenly activate the God-Mode like that…feigning for two sets to be ill. LOL

    • No I do not know much about his present team, anatolijs.

      He’s had some great coaching and teams through the years though… one name that comes to mind in Franco Davin. I’d have to research more about what he has now. Wikipedia has a comprehensive history that I think is good — the story of both his wrists might not be in there, tho. Good Luck!

  7. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting courtside for a Delpo match – his forehand is unbelievable! Del po del po delp oh delpoh delpo oh hahahahahaha that has to be annoying to Team Thiem.

  8. Oh….I feel so bad for Dominic Thiem. What a tough loss. And all those fans singing DELPOHHHHHHHH……..

    I feel sick for poor Thiem.

    Glorious win for someone who was coughing and sick and hardly able to play for two sets. Now he’s going to lose his next round. It sounds like the Argentine Open lol

  9. Go go Delpo! What a comeback!

    Del Po’s a ton of injury problems over the years since winning the USO back in 2009. Mainly his wrist, first the right, fixed by surgery, long recovery, other injuries due to being not quite in shape, then, I think, 3 surgeries on his left wrist. Came back last year, still has problems with his backhand – used to be excellent on both sides. Silver medal at Olympics, pretty much out of nowhere, led Argentina to the DC, but was really exhausted afterwards. Had to let his first coach go eventually – money problems, I expect. Don’t think he had a physio either. Full tennis teams are not cheap. Didn’t play AO this year.

  10. I remember Franco Davin very well, but since injury I dont know much. I still remember 2010 AO.
    Delpo was very thankful that Franco stayed with him through injury, but then departed in 2015 when second wrist injury occurred, very strange.

  11. Last night’s match was undoubtedly the most edge-of-the-seat,nail-biting stuff I have seen at the USO since
    Delpo won the title in 2009. Felt for poor Thiem though. And as for Breznik, normally so inscrutable, he could barely watch as what had seemed like a certain win gradually evaporated. One couldn’t help but mourn for the career Delpo might have achieved had he not suffered the multiple injuries to his wrist.

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