World No. 8 Dominic Thiem said Roger Federer was a great inspiration for him when he started playing and added that the Swiss killed him in their first meeting. Thiem, a former world No. 3, clashed Federer for the first time at the Brisbane International in 2016.
Back then, Federer claimed a routine 6-1 6-4 win to reach the Brisbane final. "When I started to watch tennis, maybe at 7-8 years old, [Roger Federer] was becoming the No. 1, it was around that time. So he was the first one I witnessed, so he was from the beginning a great inspiration.
(...) The 1st time I played against him, he killed me," Thiem said, per We Are Tennis.
Thiem considers Federer as one of the GOATs
Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic each have 20 Majors in their collection. Djokovic missed out on a great chance to claim a record 21st Grand Slam title as he lost to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.
"For me, there are three GOATs in the game, and each of them has achieved something very unique,” Thiem said of the trio locked on 20 major titles each. “So it’s still the same for me as it was before.
The three of them are the best in the history to me. And I’m only super happy to be in the same era with them and to be able to compete with them. Hopefully many more times next year again." Thiem believes that Medvedev is a step ahead of world No.
3 Stefanos Tsitsipas and fourth-ranked Alexander Zverev. "I have no doubts that Daniil will win other Grand Slam tournaments. For me, he is the closest of the younger generation. He knows how to win matches, he knows how to prepare for the big matches. He is one step ahead of Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev," Thiem said