'We saw Novak Djokovic looked like he was punch-drunk', says top coach

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'We saw Novak Djokovic looked like he was punch-drunk', says top coach

Dominic Thiem entered the world tennis elite in 2016. The Wiener Neustadt player started that year as world number 20, reaching the semi-final in Brisbane (defeated by Roger Federer) and the third round at the Australians Open, stopped by David Goffin.

In the following weeks, the successes of Buenos Aires and Acapulco, including a three-set victory over Spaniard Rafael Nadal. After the Masters 1000 on American hardcourt and those on European clay - in addition to the victory obtained in Nice against Alexander Zverev - Dominic came to Roland Garros as thirteenth seeded.

Here he overtook Inigo Cervantes, Guillermo Garcia Lopez, Zverev himself and Marcel Granollers, thus reaching his first quarter-finals in a Grand Slam event. In the next game he defeated the Belgian David Goffin with a score of 4-6 7-6 6-4 6-1, giving himself the semifinal against Novak Djokovic.

The Serbian won the match without too many fuss, but for Thiem the doors of the top 10 had finally opened: a position that he has not abandoned since then. The Austrian will complete his season by lifting the Stuttgart trophy (beating Federer among other players), before ending the year at number 8 in the world rankings.

Almost five years after entering the top 10, Dominic is now a Grand Slam champion, as well as a finalist at Roland Garros (twice, as at the ATP Finals in London) and the Australian Open. Thanks to his incredible results, Thiem managed to push himself up to the third position in the men's ranking, a step he still holds today.

Last summer he won his first major title at the US Open, beating German Zverev in five sets in a not too spectacular game. Appearing on a recent talk show for Tennis Channel, Paul Annacone talked about Novak Djokovic’s match against Dominic Thiem in the 2020 Australian Open final.

Annacone on the 2020 Australian Open final

"You saw in Australia, 2 sets to 1 up against Novak Djokovic, and we saw Novak looked like he was punch-drunk for a little while as Dominic Thiem was starting to play the big tennis," Paul Annacone continued.

"Novak did what Novak does, which is what all great players do. So when you are one of the up and comers trying to get past them that extra set necessary in that huge moment, means a lot." Thiem’s training routine is one of the high-intensity training routines on the ATP tour.

Looking at his daily routine, he spends a huge majority of his time on tennis and fitness. Thiem loves to train hard, and he himself has said that he remains tired all year long but admits that it is worth it. “I do a pretty tough program — even twice a day.

When I’m in the tournament, I reduce it a little bit. My routine is very intense, but it’s normal exercises that many people probably do, too — a lot of strength work, speed work, and a little bit of endurance with lots of core work”. Thiem said.