A quick glance at the schedule after a weekend ‘off’ thanks to Davis Cup and we can only roll our eyes as Thiem is about to embark on a stretch of tournaments each week, starting here in Bulgaria.
It has been a busy year already for the Austrian with both warm up events before a run to the fourth round of the Australian Open. He is making his debut here in Sofia as the top seed with a draw that should see him through to the quarter-finals comfortably.
Ironically it was Goffin who ended Thiem’s Australian Open run, as he too makes his debut in Sofia. Having rested from the Davis Cup first round, and possibly buoyed by his run to the Australian Open quarter-final, he may meet compatriot Steve Darcis at the other end of his bracket for a spot in the quarter-final.
If anything, all eyes ought to be on Dimitrov – his resurgence since teaming up with Dani Vallverdu, resulting in the Brisbane title, and his second Slam semi-final where he almost got the better of Rafael Nadal.
Although this is his home tournament, he gave its inaugural edition a miss, and he ought to have an eye on the quarter-finals at the very least.
The Spaniard is one of the most consistent players on tour, and perhaps a little un-Spanish in his approach, and he is in a draw littered with qualifiers and lucky-losers so it would be a shock of the defending champion does not make it as far as the quarter-finals at the very least.
The Garanti Koza Sofia Open takes place between 6-12 February.
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