2023 ATP Tour
Erste Bank Open
Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria (Indoor Hardcourt)
Selected Round of 32 Matches – 24th October
Jannik Sinner 23/100 | Ben Shelton 31/10
This has been a wonderful career-best season for Italian Jannik Sinner.
He has won a stunning 51 matches this campaign, becoming the 4th person to qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals in Shanghai.
Sinner started the season in fine form, winning in Montpellier before runner-up finishes in Rotterdam and Miami.
He went on to reach his maiden Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon before claiming his first Masters 1000 title in Toronto. He won his 3rd title of the year in China, defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final.
He is serving at a top level and he looks ready to compete with Alcaraz for the foreseeable future.
American Ben Shelton is enjoying the most fruitful period of his admittedly short career.
The former NCAA Division I Tennis Champion started the year in auspicious fashion, storming his way to the quarterfinals of the Aussie Open.
But he struggled to string together back-to-back wins following that result. It took the year’s final slam, the US Open, for him to truly announce his arrival. Shelton drew power from that crazy New York crowd, besting his Aussie Open result with a remarkable Grand Slam finish.
They were proven wrong last week as the powerful lefty bulldozed his way to the Tokyo title. But how much gas will he have in the tank after this quick turnaround?
Verdict: Sinner to win in straight-sets at 71/100
This will be their 2nd meeting, with Shelton easing past the Italian in Shanghai a fortnight back. Sinner’s performance in Shanghai can be forgiven considering he had just assured his spot in the season-ending tournament.
The Italian will likely exact sweet revenge on the American this week.
Stefanos Tsitsipas 31/100 | Dominic Thiem 47/20
This has been a true ‘almost’ year for Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.
He started it in brilliant fashion, reaching his 2nd Grand Slam final in Melbourne. But his routine demolition at the hands of Djokovic knocked his confidence quite severely.
He underperformed in the ‘Sunshine Double’ and it wasn’t until the clay-court swing that he finally produced some of his best tennis.
He reached a final in Barcelona and produced another steady quarterfinal run at Roland Garros. He stole defeat from the jaws of victory at SW19, surrendering a two-set lead against the explosive Eubanks in the round of 16.
A solid outing in Vienna will virtually assure him of a place in the season-ending finals.
Former World No.3 Dominic Thiem hasn’t had it easy on the comeback trail.
The Austrian has been absolutely overwhelmed by injury over the past few seasons and it’s starting to look unlikely that we will ever see him approach the level that saw him reach four Gand Slam finals.
But the 30-year-old did give us a glimpse of his former self on home soil, reaching his first final in three years at the Austrian Open.
The German is coming off a pretty disheartening three-set defeat to Hanfmann at the European Open.
Verdict: Tsitsipas to win in three at 5/2
These two are currently locked at 5-5 in a fascinating head-to-head rivalry. Tsitsipas won their last meeting at Wimbledon this year but Thiem has won four of their six hardcourt encounters.
Tsitsipas will look to dictate the tempo with his strong serve and crunching groundstrokes.