Alexander Zverev
In-form Alexander faces stiff first-round test Reuters

Alexander Zverev comes to Rotterdam Open 2017 putting behind the disappointment of losing an agonising Round of 32 clash at the Australian Open, which went to five sets, against Rafael Nadal. The 19-year-old German carried his good form into Montpellier and clinched his first title of the season at the ATP event last week. He takes on Dominic Thiem at the Rotterdam Open on Wednesday. The match is at Ahoy Rotterdam, Netherlands, at 5.pm local time Singapore.

The world number 18 was at his best, disposing off higher-ranked Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-final and decimating Richard Gasquet in straight sets in the title match. Alexander has started the season on a high with impressive runs at Stockholm, Melbourne and finally ended his title drought at Montpellier.

However, the unseeded youngster will face a stiff test against second seed as early as in the first round. Thiem broke into the top-10 last year and entered the prestigious year-ending ATP Tour Finals, in which he defeated Gael Monfils and lost to Milos Raonic and Novak Djokovic to exit the tournament in the group stages.

However, the 25-year-old has not had a good start to the new season despite reaching the final stages at Brisbane and Sydney. Thiem suffered a defeat in the Round of 16 clash at Melbourne as well after taking the first set only to lose the next three against David Goffin.

Thiem suffered the biggest setback of the ongoing season when he was dumped out of Sofia Open last week after losing to world number 87 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the opening round. It is important for the Austrian player to bury the memories of what has been an ordinary season so far and start afresh in Rotterdam.

While it will not be an easy task for him against the in-form Alexander, Thiem's 3-1 head-to-head advantage over his opponent should give him confidence. Also, the absence of top-ranked stars Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka, who pulled out at the last minute, should provide him an easy path to the final stages if he manages to get past the first hurdle.

TV Schedule

Singapore: Hub Sports 1

Malaysia: Astro Supersport 4

India: Ten 1

UK: Sky Sports