Over the past 15 years, numerous players have attempted to worry the dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin del Potro, Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic have only succeeded on occasion, also because of the injuries that have affected their respective careers.
At the present time, Dominic Thiem seems to have become the most accredited to win a Slam outside the Big 3, considering that the Austrian has already hit two finals at Roland Garros and has touched the triumph at the Australian Open 2020.
From the beginning of 2018 to date, only Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have played multiple finals of the Grand Slam of Thiem. The Serbian leads with five finals, followed by Nadal at four and Thiem at three. In a recent interview with El Tiempo, the ATP number 3 explained what it means to face one of the Big 3 in a Grand Slam final.
Thiem on the Big 3
“Well, I must be clear, in my first final at Roland Garros, against Rafael Nadal, I had no chance of beating him, we all know what he can do in that tournament." said Dominic Thiem. "Fighting Nadal in Paris at Roland Garros is probably the biggest challenge I've ever had in my sports career.
Rafa is very dominant over the brick dust. When I reached my second final in Paris I had a better performance against Nadal. I think I showed fantastic tennis, even when it wasn't enough to beat it. One thing is certain: Rafa is the best clay player" - he added.
“Yes, in my third final, this year at the Australian Open, the chances were very close, it was an epic match," Thiem said. "When playing against the best players, like Novak Djokovic, you can't make mistakes, even the little ones can decide whether to win or lose" - Thiem finished.
The only place left for Thiem to go at this point is into the winner’s circle at a major. With Roger Federer out for the season, Nadal possibly skipping the summer American swing, and Djokovic recovering from the coronavirus, Thiem might be considered the favorite to win the US Open.
He certainly doesn’t have any qualms about coming to New York. “It will be safe for everyone,” he confidently stated this week. As a tour leader and spokesman, Thiem could probably use some polish.