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Australian Open 2020: Rafael Nadal faces a dangerous quarter-final against Dominic Thiem
AUSTRALIAN OPEN
January 29, 2020 2:17pm
by FOX SPORTS
Source: FOX SPORTS
Rafael Nadal faces a tough quarter-final against Dominic Thiem tonight. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)
Rafael Nadal faces a tough quarter-final against Dominic Thiem tonight. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)
Source: AFP
Rafael Nadal has to overcome his newest rival and the player “feared in the locker room” if he is to advance to the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
The world number one faces Austrian No.5 seed Dominic Thiem on Rod Laver Arena tonight, and the only other time they’ve played at a hard court slam, Nadal needed a fifth set tiebreak to beat him (2018 US Open).

Thiem has become one of Nadal’s great rivals on clay, playing him in the last two French Open finals and taking a set off him there last year.

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Nadal stopped by securityNadal stopped by security0:29
One factor that could play into Thiem’s hands is the rising temperatures at Melbourne Park. It has been particularly cold in the recent night sessions, hurting big hitters, but the gauge reached the thirties today.

“This court hasn’t been bouncing as high. However it is boiling hot coming in here today,” Jim Courier said on Nine.

“It’s going to be bouncing a little more than what we have seen. We’ve had 18, 17, 19 degrees for the last few nights. That will make a difference.”

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Thiem’s reputation is growing and renowned tennis coach Jason Goodall has warned Nadal he can’t be complacent tonight.

“If he has the ability to play as well as he did by winning Indian Wells last year and by playing so well against Nadal at the US Open, I think he can beat anybody,” Goodall said on ESPN.

“He’s got a big first serve, good kicker of a second and a really powerful forehand and backhand.

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“If you allow him to dictate play, you’re going to be in trouble.

“Nadal has to make sure he steps up the court, that he is able to dictate play and keep the rallies short on his serve and then it should be a real humdinger.

“Nadal is undoubtedly the favourite, but Thiem I think is feared in the locker room.”

Thiem looked near his best in the fourth round as he got past Gael Monfils in straight sets, while Nadal had a four-set battle with Nick Kyrgios.

Tonight’s winner will face Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN NIGHT 10 ORDER OF PLAY (All times AEDT)

Rod Laver Arena

Night session (from 7:30pm)

Rafael Nadal (ESP) [1] vs Dominic Thiem (AUT) [5]

Mixed doubles

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