Trailing Behind The Big Four, Dominic Thiem Aims To Rise With New Strategy - UBITENNIS
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Trailing Behind The Big Four, Dominic Thiem Aims To Rise With New Strategy



Dominic Thiem (

In this week’s Emirates ATP Rankings, Dominic Thiem finds himself leading the future generation of men’s tennis.


At a career-best rank of seventh in the world, the Austrian in the highest ranked player under the age of 27. He is also the highest ranked player yet to win a grand slam, which has been largely dominated by the ‘Big Four’ contingent over the past decade. Thiem has been tipped as a future star by many. At the age of 23, he is already a two-time French Open semifinalist with eight ATP titles to his name.

Alongside with other players such as world No.8 Alexander Zverev, it is hoped that the developing generation will fill the void once the era of the big four comes to an end. Although Thiem admits that he has a long way to go.

“We still have to win a lot of matches to deserve to be called the next big things in tennis,” Thiem said on Monday. “It’s nice to hear that but I think it’s still a pretty long ways for both of us.”

This season the 23-year-old has already defeated three members of the big four. Roger Federer is the only exception. Recently Novak Djokovic pulled a curtain on his season due to injury problems. However small, cracks are starting to show at the top of the game for the younger players to shine through. Illustrated by Zverev’s run to his first Masters 1000 title in Rome.

“I think it’s getting better for the younger players since the past one or two years. There were some tournaments where we had a breakthrough against them — but to win a grand slam or a Masters 1000, you have to usually beat two big-four guys in a row, which is a very tough thing to achieve, and that’s why so little of other players have won the big titles.” Thiem said about the  rivalry with the quartet.

The North American plan

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Dedication has never been a problem for Thiem, who has already played 53 tour matches this season. Finding consistency is his achilles heel. After a strong performance on the European clay, he suffered two early exits on the grass-courts in Germany and Turkey. Then at Wimbledon he restored some pride in his grass campaign by reaching the fourth round.

Unlike previous years, Thiem has chosen to skip his home tournament in Kitzbuhel to play in Washington this week. Seeded first at the Citi Open, his objective is to lay down the foundations for a successful north American tour. Thiem is yet to contest an ATP final in the continent.

“The main priority is to find the good game, and it’s the start here of a very long trip. And I’m doing it for the first time, to come here to Washington, because I want to play a good hard-court swing. Previous years I was always coming from Europe, from clay, and it didn’t work out that well. I hope it works out well from the first week on.” Explained Thiem.

Thiem will start his campaign in Washington against Henri Laaksonen of Switzerland. He headlines a field featuring eight top 20 players, of which four are ranked inside the top 10. It will be a tough tournament for the top seed, who is maintaining an upbeat mentality.

“For us players, it’s not that great because we have tough matches ahead, but for the crowd it’s amazing. They are lucky they have such a strong field. But for the players it’s not that nice. They are all really tough matches.” He joked.

Thiem’s wins over the big four in 2017

Barcelona Open – defeated Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 (semi-finals)
Italian Open – defeated Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-3 (quarter-finals)
French Open – defeated Novak Djokovic 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-0, (quarter-finals)


Nick Kyrgios Opens Up About His Self-Harm Battle And Murray’s Support



Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios says he became addicted to pain during his battle with self-harm that lasted between 18 and 24 months.


In an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, the former Wimbledon finalist spoke about his mental health issues. Kyrgios has previously spoken publically about the topic but has now revealed further details about the extent he went through and the role Andy Murray played in supporting him. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward in London and contemplated suicide following the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

“It was pretty dark to be honest,” Kyrgios told Morgan. “I won tournaments on the professional tour, drinking every night, self-harming, burning things on my arm, cutting myself for fun. It became an addiction of pain. I hated myself. I hated waking up and being Nick Kyrgios.”

One of those who tried to help the Australian address his self-harm problem was three-time Grand Slam champion Murray who noticed cuts on Kyrgios’ arms during one of their practice sessions four years ago. According to The Times, the former world No.1 then alerted Kyrgios’ manager John Morris about the cuts.

Paying tribute to the Brit, Kyrgios says Murray has supported him throughout his career. The 28-year-old has been ranked as high as 13th in the world and has won seven ATP titles. Besides his run to the Wimbledon final last year, he has also reached the quarter-final stage of a major on three other occasions.

“Andy was always a big supporter of me,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I came on the tour, he kind of saw a work in progress and took me under his wing. Then he realised later in my career that I don’t think I was coachable or I was on my own path, but he was always someone that was looking out for me.
“He saw it [the self-harm] and he said, ‘What’s that on your arm?’ It was pretty bad at that stage. Andy obviously was trying to give me advice on it. But I was just so stuck in my ways at that time that I didn’t listen. Obviously I’m very thankful. I thank him a lot.”

Kyrgios, who has only played one match on the Tour this season due to injury, hopes that he can help others by speaking publicly about his mental health battle. Something he describes as ‘the most powerful thing in his career.’

“I feel like I’ve helped so many people after I opened up about it and put it on social media,” Kyrgios said.
“I’ve almost been a beacon for people who are struggling. When they feel like they’re overwhelmed and they’re going towards drinking, drugs and stuff, they open up and they feel like I’m relatable.
“That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues.
“They send me photos in my Instagram, direct messages, self-harming and genuinely wanting to commit suicide.
“I have conversations with these people. Sometimes I’ve had phone calls with these people. That’s making a real difference and I’m just really proud.”

Kyrgios recently had a stint in broadcasting after working for The Tennis channel during the ATP Finals in Milan. He is continuing his rehab from injury but it is unclear as to when he will make his return to professional tennis.

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Hamad Medjedovic earns first place in Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic beat Abdullah Shelbayh 3-4 (6-8) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) 4-2 to earn first place in the Red Group with a perfect 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Medjedovic needed to win at least one set to reach the semifinals, while Shelbayh needed to win the match in three or four sets. Luca Van Assche qualified as the second-placed player from the Red Group.

Medjedovic will face Dominic Stricker in the semifinal, while Van Assche takes on Arthur Fils.  

Medjedovic fired 18 aces and won 88 % of his first-serve points. He saved all three break points against Shelbayh. 

Medjedovic fired a tournament-leading 45 aces and was broken twice. 

Medjedovic saved three break points to hold serve in the fourth game of the first set. Shelbayh went up a mini-break twice, but Medjedovic pulled back on serve both times. Shelbayh won the final three points to clinch the tie-break 8-6. Both players went on serve in the first five games before Medjedovic earned the break to win the second set 4-2. 

The third set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Shelbayh earned the first mini-break to take a 3-2 lead. Medjedovic pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. The Serbian player earned a second mini-break to close out the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic started the fourth set with an early break in the first game. He held on his next service games and sealed the win on his first match point. 

Medjedovic set up a semifinal match against Dominic Stricker. Luc Van Assche will face Arthur Fils in an all-French semifinal.“It was a great match. I played really good after the first set He is a very good friend of mine. He is a very good player and obviously the crowd here loves him and I respect that. It was a pleasure to play in front of the crowd”, said Medjedovic. 

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Dominic Stricker cruises past Luca Nardi at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Third seed Dominic Stricker cruised past Luca Nardi 4-1 4-1 4-2 in 54 minutes in the fastest match in the history of the Next Gen Finals at the Next Gen ATP Finals at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah bouncing back from his defeat in the first match against Flavio Cobolli on Tuesday. 


Stricker converted four of his six break points and hit 13 winners, including 3 aces. 

Stricker came back from 15-40 down in the first game after two double faults from Nardi and broke serve with a return winner on the deciding point to take a 1-0 lead. The world number 94 saved three break-back-back points in the second game from 15-40 down before breaking for the second time in the fifth game to win the first set 4-1. 

Stricker broke serve at 30 in the second game of the second set and held serve at love in the third game to race out to a 3-0 lead. Stricker served it out on his second set point. 

Stricker earned an early break in the first game of the third set on the deciding point and held his next service games. Nardi saved the first match point but he hit his backhand into the net on the second match point after the longest rally of the match. 

“We had a long discussion yesterday evening about how to do it today. I think it was really good that we talked a lot after what maybe was not my best performance. Now to come out today like that, I think nobody expected that. I am just happy that I did it and now I am going to try my best to recover for the third group match”, said Stricker. Stricker is now 1-1 in Green Group. The Swiss player is aiming to reach his second consecutive semifinal at the Next Gen Finals. He is looking to crown a good year after reaching the fourth round at the US Open. 

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