Dominic Thiem reveals Novak Djokovic's most formidable US Open rival

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Dominic Thiem reveals Novak Djokovic's most formidable US Open rival

Twelve months ago, Dominic Thiem claimed the first Major crown at the US Open, beating Alexander Zverev in thrilling five sets. The Austrian will not defend the title this year, struggling with a wrist injury since June and missing the rest of the season.

Speaking about the US Open favorites, Thiem placed Novak Djokovic at the top, followed by three younger rivals, who have already played in Major finals. For Thiem, Daniil Medvedev is the second-strongest player in the draw, ahead of Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

All four top seeds have reached the second round, preparing for their next rivals on Wednesday and Thursday. Thiem praised Medvedev by saying he barely misses a ball, backed by strong serve and incredible physical shape. Also, Daniil has played in one Major final more than Zverev and Tsitsipas, losing them to Djokovic and Rafael Nadal but gathering experience for the upcoming big matches.

Dominic Thiem mentioned Daniil Medvedev as the Novak's Djokovic toughest rival.

In February, Medvedev lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final in straight sets, suffering a late break in the opener and failing to follow Novak's pace in the rest of the encounter.

Medvedev, Zverev and Tsitsipas are hoping to beat Djokovic in New York and prevent him from winning a calendar Grand Slam, the first since Rod Laver in 1969! Novak made a winning start on Tuesday night, beating an 18-year-old Holger Rune in four sets for his 22nd straight Major victory in 2021.

As many times before, the crown did not stand on his side, but Novak stayed calm and sealed the deal with three rock-solid sets to earn a place in the second round. "It is super interesting to watch Medvedev but very tough to play against.

He does not miss and has a great serve and return. He's really tall and moves so well for such a big player. Daniil has no weakness, and that makes him very tough to beat. Above everything, he is super fit. That makes him maybe the biggest challenge to Novak.

He has that slight advantage over Stefanos and Alexander because he has already played two Major finals. Losing a Major final is a bad experience, but also a massive one for the upcoming notable matches," Dominic Thiem said.