LONDON (Reuters) – French Open semi-finalist Dominic Thiem takes on France’s Gilles Simon at Wimbledon on Thursday, hoping to make inroads into what has been the weakest grand slam for one of the so-called next generation of men’s tennis.
The 23-year-old Austrian eighth seed produced one of his finest displays on clay to knock out holder Novak Djokovic in Paris last month, only to come up against the immovable obstacle of Rafa Nadal in the last four.
But in his past three Wimbledon appearances, Thiem has not made it past the second round – a run he will be hoping to end against 32-year-old Simon, who is ranked 36th in the world.
Simon reached the quarter-finals at the grasscourt slam in 2015 when he lost to Roger Federer in straight sets. He won his first-round match on Tuesday against Chile’s Nicolas Jarry.
Thiem came into Wimbledon after losing to the world 222, India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan, on the grass in Turkey’s Antalya Open. He beat Canadian Vasek Pospisil to reach round two.
(Reporting by Alison Williams, editing by Ed Osmond)