'I just hoped Novak Djokovic wouldn’t crush me', says Top 5



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'I just hoped Novak Djokovic wouldn’t crush me', says Top 5

Dominic Thiem, number 3 in the world ranking and second favorite in seeding, in pursuit of his first Grand Slam title, therefore has to deal with a "past champion" like the Croatian Marin Cilic (king in the Big Apple in 2014), long top ten and now number 38 in the rankings and 31st seeded, one of the few outside the Big Four to win a major in the last ten years.

Reputed tennis data analyst Mike James believes that Dominic Thiem will be the most formidable opponent for Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows this year. In a recent interview, the Austrian has revealed what he felt the day before facing Novak Djokovic for the first time.

Novak Djokovic has a 7-4 head-to-head record against Dominic Thiem.

Thiem on Novak Djokovic

"I played against Novak Djokovic for the first time in Shanghai in 2014. He was on a peak. A few days before he had destroyed Tomas Berdych in the Beijing final.

I just hoped he wouldn't crush me. I had immediately noticed the aura of his superb level of play, however, I managed to wriggle out quite well. I was able to keep up solidly, though I lost 3:6, 4:6. That was far away from a disaster …" - Dominic Thiem said.

"In 2018, in the semifinal in Rome, I played against him quite badly, lost 0:6, 1:6. But three weeks later I defeated him in the Paris quarterfinals in three sets. My premiere! Amazing! My first victory was quite emotional.

Two additional highlights: I won the 2019 Roland Garros semifinal. In the same year won the group match at the Masters," Thiem continued. The 3rd round victory at the US Open gave the World No.1 his 600th hard court victory.

A monumental milestone as Djokovic becomes the second player to have more than 600 victories on the hardcourt with the other one being Roger Federer. Federer leads the tally with 775 wins. Djokovic is now third in the list of most wins on a single surface.

As mentioned above Federer leads with 775 followed by Guillermo Vilas who has 670 wins on clay. Another milestone that Djokovic reached is 150 victories in the hardcourt Grand Slam tournaments. The Australian Open and the US Open are the hardcourt Grand Slam tournament and so Djokovic has won 75 matches in each of them. His tally of 150 is second only to Federer who is quite a bit ahead at 192.