Dominic Thiem is known for his powerful strokes and athleticism. But to be able to destroy Daniil Medvedev's perfect mechanisms and win the semifinal of the US Open in three sets (6-2 7-6 7-6), the World number 3 had to resort to the variety of his arsenal, demonstrating a thoroughness that has few rivals on the tour.
Dominic Thiem is now at the level of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer, says Mats Wilander after his US Open semi-final win.
Wilander on Dominic Thiem
“I think the maturity levels of Dominic Thiem is so high compared to where it has been,” Eurosport expert Mats Wilander said.
“He’s so good right now and you can see he is literally right up there with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – he just hasn’t won anything yet. It was a little unexpected that he won tonight’s match in three sets, for sure.
I thought Medvedev would be a little closer but you look at he did have a chance to win two sets. But Thiem is definitely a little bit better than the other guys for me. Dominic didn’t panic tonight. He was keeping the ball in play, he was playing smart off his backhand side, with a lot of sliced backhands that kept the ball low which is tough for Medvedev because he doesn’t hit the ball with a lot of spin.
I think he played within himself and he played smart and he played high percentage tennis. It would have been easy to just panic but he didn’t”. Unlike Thiem’s three previous Grand Slam finals, he’ll step on court this Sunday as the on-paper favourite.
He holds a 7-2 lead against Zverev in their ATP Head2Head series and won their past three matches, including a four-set triumph this year in the Australian Open semi-finals. Although Thiem acknowledges the magnitude of having a guaranteed new Grand Slam champion, he said facing that reality has helped him detach from it.
He plans to prepare for the final in the same way he approached his first round, leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of victory. “From the moment Novak was out of the tournament, it was clear that there's going to be a new Grand Slam champion.
From that moment on, that was also out of my mind,” Thiem said. “I was just focussing on the remaining guys left in the draw. Now it’s Sascha remaining. I will fully focus on him and go into that match like in the all other matches so far in this tournament”.