Thiem-Tsitsipas, Sinner-Shelton Among First-Round Blockbusters In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 21, 2023

Thiem-Tsitsipas, Sinner-Shelton Among First-Round Blockbusters In Vienna

Top seed Medvedev faces #NextGenATP Fils at ATP 500

The Erste Bank Open draw has thrown up plenty of blockbuster first-round match ups as a host of the world’s top stars arrive in Vienna for the ATP 500.

Home favourite and 2019 champion Dominic Thiem will be out for revenge when he takes on fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Tstisipas edged the Austrian in deciding-set tie-breaks both in Madrid and at Wimbledon earlier this year, but the former World No. 3 Thiem will hope to be inspired by his home fans inside the Wiener Stadthalle as he looks to rediscover his best form.

Daniil Medvedev is in the same half of the draw as Thiem and Tsitsipas, but the top seed and defending champion will not be looking past his first-round challenge in Vienna. He plays #NextGenATP Frenchman Arthur Fils, who is enjoying a breakout year on the ATP Tour and beat Tsitsipas in the Antwerp semi-finals on Saturday.

Grigor Dimitrov and Lorenzo Musetti will await Medvedev or Fils in the second round. The pair has not met since 2021, when Musetti prevailed in straight sets on the hard courts of Acapulco.

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In the bottom half of the draw, Jannik Sinner against Ben Shelton represents another popcorn opener in Austria. The pair’s maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting took place in Shanghai under two weeks ago, when Shelton edged the Italian in a third-set tie-break. The 21-year-old Shelton plays his maiden ATP Tour final against Aslan Karatsev in Tokyo on Sunday, before flying to Vienna.

Seventh seed Frances Tiafoe is a potential quarter-final opponent for Shelton and Sinner. The American starts his campaign against Daniel Evans. Third seed Andrey Rublev or fifth seed Alexander Zverev are also seeded to meet in the quarter-finals. Rublev begins against Alexei Popyrin, while Zverev will hope to spoil the party for home fans when he steps out against wild card Sebastian Ofner.

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Home Favourite Wawrinka To Dash Fritz’s Turin Hopes In Basel?
A two-time semi-finalist at the Swiss Indoors Basel, Stan Wawrinka will hope his home fans can fire him up for another deep run this week at the ATP 500.

The 16-time tour-level titlist Wawrinka opens against a qualifier in Basel, where he could meet third seed Taylor Fritz in the second round. A deep run in Switzerland would be a significant boost for Fritz’s Nitto ATP Finals qualification chances — the American is currently ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

Just above Fritz in eighth in the Live Race is Basel top seed Holger Rune. The Dane meets Miomir Kecmanovic first up as he looks to bounce back quickly from a first-round exit in Stockholm. Should he make it to the quarter-finals, Rune could face eighth seed Sebastian Korda or former World No. 1 Andy Murray. Wawrinka and defending champion Felix Auger-Aliassime are among Rune’s potential semi-final opponents.

Three other Nitto ATP Finals qualification hopefuls, Casper Ruud, Alex de Minaur and Hubert Hurkacz, are in the bottom half of the Basel draw. Ruud opens against Alexander Bublik, who will first play in the Antwerp final on Sunday, while De Minaur starts against former Top 10-star Diego Schwartzman. Fourth seed Hurkacz, an ATP Masters 1000 champion earlier this month in Shanghai, starts against Dusan Lajovic.

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