Dominic Thiem has been on the ATP circuit for a number of years where he has risen the ranks to become one of the best young players of the tennis generation. His artistic game along with his sublime backhand has earned him 16 ATP singles titles at the age of 27.
Thiem, the second-seeded Austrian, advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2020 US Open by handily defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, 7-6, 6-1, 6-1 to progress to the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows.
He has fallen short of an elusive Grand Slam after losing in finals in Australia and Paris, but the 2020 US Open surely has to be the best chance to get the monkey off his back.
There will be a first-time Grand Slam men’s champion crowned this Sunday with the stunning disqualification of top-seed Novak Djokovic for accidentally hitting a female line judge with a ball on Sunday.
The only other player remaining in the draw who has advanced to a major final is Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in a thrilling five-set encounter in Flushing Meadows in 2019.
“For myself and the other remaining players left in the draw, it doesn’t matter at all if the Big Three are here or not. I think everybody just wants their hands on this trophy.”
Thiem is the only player on the ATP tour to win at least 20 matches on clay and hard courts. But he’s been part of the “NextGen’’ group for an agonizingly long time. He’s now 27.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 17, 2020
He’s the one who has looked most likely to win a Grand Slam, with three final appearances – at this year’s Australian Open and at the French Open in 2018 and 2019. Thiem is perhaps the most consistent power-hitter in the game.
At 27, he is close to his prime in the current crop of young talents. The Austrian, whose best US Open result was a quarter-final appearance in 2018, has the most explosive baseline game among those left in the draw this year. Along with his incredible movement, he has the potential of delivering winners out of nowhere from any part of the court. His one handed backhand is considered to be one of the best in the business and has been deadly in numerous matches.
While his victory over 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the third round was mighty impressive, the second seed was at his absolute best against the Canadian sensation Auger-Aliassime in the round of 16. It may come down to whether he can sustain his high-octane tennis for long periods and in crucial moments. He is sure to be given a stern test in the quarters by Alex de Minaur, whose ability to chase down balls should make for a fascinating match.
Thiem will face his toughest challenge if he progresses to the next round as he is expected to meet Russian Daniil Medvedev, who is just below in the seedings and has won two ATP Masters titles at the age of 24.
The 2020 US Open could be the platform for the “NextGen” to finally rise up and start a new era in the world of tennis, after the domination of the ‘Big 3’ for almost one and a half decades.