Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem's head-to-head is 7 and 4 in favor of the Serbian. But if they meet in Vienna, the Austrian will have a few advantages that Novak does not. Despite the statistics, Thiem has gone through a strong confidence builder when he won the U.S.
Open after a tough 5-setter with Alexander Zverev. He did it after a 5-month hiatus due to the world health crisis. He is also the defending champ in Vienna and will be getting the verbal support from the people watching, that Djokovic will not.
Thiem is in his home country of Austria and fans there want their Austrian player to keep the winning spirit alive. "Starting as defending champion is always special...I want to have as good a showing as possible..."
Dominic Thiem expressed his want of doing well since he is a hometown favorite. The Serbian's record of not losing a set to Coric in the last few meetings might have been on his mind when he played him days ago in the second round at Vienna and won 7-6, 6-3.
Coric did happen to save two set points with aces no less but having a slip up and creating a few unforced errors might have been what nailed the win for Djokovic. The Serb had emphasized to the 'Tennis Now' media that "I want to make history as the world No.
1, who has spent the most weeks at the top of the ATP Tour...I will do everything I can to make it happen." Djokovic is a solid 'shoe in' for capturing 293 weeks as No. 1 through the first week of November.
He is intent on breaking Roger Federer's record of 310.
But here stands Dominic Thiem who may be an irritating player for Djokovic despite the statistics.
He's coming into the Vienna Open with many advantages that the Serbian can't deny. Thiem is in his home country and will be getting the verbal support that Djokovic will not. Thiem has battled out with Hugo Gaston in a frustrating 5-set match recently that won him the fourth round of the French Open.
The Austrian wasn't so lucky though meeting up with Diego Schwartzman and losing the quarterfinal 5-setter to the Argentine. The last time Djokovic and Thiem met was the top of the year before the world health crisis. The Australian Open was plauged by bushfires but play went on and the final with the two fell in the hands of the Serb taking the five exhausting sets and the title.
Dominic Thiem knows that this is his chance to shine again and entering theVienna Open is great but he says that "Starting as defending champion is always special...I want to have as good a showing as possible..."
Sometimes it comes down to those crucial points that can shift a match to a player's advantage causing the victory. Will Djokovic be able to stay mentally stronger than Dominic Thiem if they meet to push his quest for an extended stay at No.
1 on the ATP Tour? Can Thiem be able to play with his determination and Austrian fan support to win the Vienna Open again? It may certainly come down to those small but important points and the man to display them better, will be the winner.