Dominic Thiem Hopes To Emulate Murray In Grand Slam Title Hunt - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Dominic Thiem Hopes To Emulate Murray In Grand Slam Title Hunt

The 26-year-old has vowed to focus on his form and not where he is in the ATP rankings.

Published

on

Dominic Thiem - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

It was third time unlucky for Dominic Thiem at the Australian Open on Sunday, but the Austrian has drawn more motivation than ever following his latest loss.

The world No.4 was denied the Melbourne title by the formidable Novak Djokovic, who won the major for a record eighth time. It was a case of so near, but so far for Thiem who lead the match by two sets at one stage before losing in five. Making it the third time he has lost in the final of a grand slam after settling for runner-up twice at the French Open over the past two years.

Despite the heartbreak, Thiem is confident that he is heading in the right direction. Last season he was one of only two players to win five titles on the ATP Tour. Coincidentally the other was rival Djokovic.

“On the one hand it was Final defeat a disappointment, on the other hand a huge motivation for the next big tournaments.” Thiem told reporters about his Australian Open run.
“The first two lost (grand slam) finals were clear against Rafael Nadal in Paris (French Open). I was far away then.’
“This time it was close, it could have been different, I can blame myself. I’ve never been so close.”

The hope for Thiem is that he can follow in the footsteps of former world No.1 Andy Murray. The Brit clinched his first major title in his fifth appearance in a grand slam final at the 2012 US Open. However, he admits that it will be far from easy. Not only does he have to deal with the prestigious Big Three, those trying to succeed the trio are also gathering momentum in the sport.

“Andy Murray lost four Grand Slam finals before winning three and becoming number one in the world. I take him as a role model.” He said with a smile.
“But I may also lose the next two Grand Slam finals. (Rafael) Nadal has to be hit on the clay, Djokovic is the best on hard court, and (Roger) Federer can still Win Wimbledon.’
“Behind them, I will also have to consider Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev.”

Now ranked as fourth in the world, Thiem is on the verge of breaking into the world’s top three. Something that hasn’t been achieved by an Austrian player since Thomas Muster back in 1997. Muster and Thiem briefly joined forces with each other earlier this year before they went their own ways.

“Of course, the top 3 would be nice, but it’s not my main goal. Rather, I want to continue the level I played in Australia, then that should come about with the ranking by itself.”

Whilst remaining grounded about his ranking prospects, Thiem’s former mentor believes he has what it takes to rise to the top. Gunter Bresnik was an instrumental figure throughout the majority of his career until last April. When he was replaced by former Olympic champion Nicolas Massu, who has been Thiem’s principle coach ever since.

“In the short term he will be number 3, in the long term he will be number 1,” he told ServusTV.
“Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer would have seen Thiem as the future number one years ago.
“The top three [and] top five – because I don’t want to exclude [Andy] Murray and [Stan] Wawrinka – he has beaten everyone during their prime.
“Hats off to the boy. He has what it takes and he will confirm it.”

Currently just 85 points behind Roger Federer, Thiem will have a crack to trying to break into the top three in less than two weeks time. His next tournament is scheduled to be the Rio Open, which will get underway on February 17th. A week before Federer’s next tournament in Dubai.

ATP

Daniil Medvedev Targets French Open Breakthrough After Rome Disappointment

Published

on

Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Daniil Medvedev believes there will be more title contenders at the French Open than previous editions with the Russian hoping to be one of them. 

The world No.4 heads into the Grand Slam after what has been a mixed clay swing. Medvedev suffered a third round defeat in Monte Carlo before bouncing back in Madrid where he reached the quarter-finals before retiring from his match with a minor injury. Meanwhile, at this week’s Italian Open, his title defence came to an end in the fourth round on Tuesday when he fell 6-1, 6-4, to Tommy Paul. 

“Mentally I had to be much better,” Medvedev said of his latest performance.
“I started to calm myself down and focus on the match only at the end of the match, and it was too late. I had to do better. I was expecting myself to play better.’
“It’s disappointing, but that’s how sport is. You lose and you go for the next tournament, which is a pretty important one.” He added. 

28-year-old Medvedev recently stated that he is seeing improvements in his game when it comes to playing on the clay. A surface which he has struggled on during stages of his career. Out of the 38 ATP Finals he has contested, only two of those were on the clay. Barcelona in 2019 when he finished runner-up and Rome last year which he won. 

As for the French Open, he has lost in the first round on five out of seven appearances. But did reach the quarter-finals in 2021 and the last 16 the following year. So could 2024 be his year?

“Now it’s maybe a little bit more open than it was ever before,” he said of this year’s event. 
“Good for me, too, because usually in Roland Garros I don’t play that well. The more open it is, the better it is for me.”

All of the top three players on the men’s tour are currently experiencing problems. Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open and recently underwent a medical assessment after getting hit in the head by a bottle in a freak accident. Jannik Sinner is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the French Open due to a hip issue and Carlos Alcaraz has been hindered by a forearm injury in recent weeks. 

“I’m feeling much better on clay,” Medvedev commented. “What is tough for me on clay sometimes is getting used to conditions. Every court – in every tournament in the world – is a bit different.
“On hard courts it’s the same: every court is different. On hard courts I have this ability to kind of quite fast get used to it. On clay, I need more time.”

Medvedev aims to become only the second Russian man in history to win the French Open after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. The tournament will begin a week on Sunday. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Stefanos Tsitsipas Says Expanded Masters Events ‘Playing A Massive Role’ In Player Injuries

Published

on

Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas has slammed the decision to extend the length of Masters 1000 tournaments to two weeks by warning that more injuries could occur in the future as a result. 

This week’s Rome Masters is taking place without two out of the world’s top three players. Jannik Sinner pulled out of his home event due to a hip injury and Carlos Alcaraz has been troubled by a forearm issue in recent weeks. Other players missing from the draw include Tomas Machac (Illness), Ugo Humbert (Left Knee) and Stan Wawrinka (Right Wrist). 

The tournament is taking place immediately after the Madrid Open which is also a Masters event that has been expanded to a two-week format in recent years. Supporters of the move argue that a bigger draw provides lower-ranked players with more opportunities to play in these events whilst others will have a day off between matches. 

However, world No.8 Tsitsipas isn’t completely happy with the schedule which he openly criticised on Monday following his 6-2, 7-6(1), win over Cameron Norrie. The Greek has won 12 out of 14 matches played on clay so far this season. 

“It’s a type of thing that hurt the sport a little bit, to have these types of things happen to the highest of the players,” Tsitsipas commented on his rival’s injuries.
“Without them, the show is not kind of the same. You have obviously the guys behind them (in the rankings). These kinds of tournaments deserve names like this to be playing and have the opportunity to play in front of these big stadiums and crowds.
“I’ve spoken about the fact that the schedule has a big toll on our bodies. It starts from the mental side, and it follows to the physical side. The extension of the days in the Masters 1000s I think plays a massive role and contributes a lot to the fact that these players are getting injured.”

The ATP’s extended format is set to be applied to seven out of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments from 2025. The only two yet to make or plan for such changes are Monte Carlo and Paris. However, Tsitsipas has called for changes to be made to the schedule.

“It was perhaps already a lot the way it was before with the seven-day events. Adding more days to that, well, you got to be some type of superhero to be consistent back-to-back 10 days in each event getting to the very end of it.” He commented.
“It’s not a very easy thing to do. Some people need to try it first to get an understanding and how it is to pull that off. Then they should make decisions based on that.
“I think this is not going to be the first time we see these types of things (player injuries). If these types of things continue with the same schedule not being adjusted or customized to the needs of the players, we might see more of these things occur in the future.”

It is not the first time a player has raised concerns about the extended format. Alexander Zverev previously said that the schedule is a disadvantage for the top players. Meanwhile, on the women’s Tour Caroline Garcia has criticised the move to expand WTA 1000 tournaments whilst Maria Sakkari said achieving the Madrid-Rome double has become harder to do

On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev has spoken in favour of the new format and describes injuries on the Tour as ‘part of the sport.’ The former US Open believes the issue is related to the quick surface changes players face and not the duration of tournaments. 

Tsitsipas will play Alex de Minaur in the fourth round of the Italian Open on Tuesday. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Novak Djokovic To Undergo Medical Check After Rome Thrashing, Bottle Incident

Published

on

Novak Djokovic – ATP Roma 2024 (foto: Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis)

Novak Djokovic has indicated that he will speak to doctors following his lacklustre performance at the Italian Open where he crashed out in straight sets. 

The five-time champion was far from his best against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo as he struggled to generate any rhythm in his tennis or a single break point opportunity. Djokovic’s below-par performance caught many off guard, including the tennis player himself who admitted afterwards that he was ‘completely off’ his game. 

Trying to find the reason behind his latest performance, the world No.1 isn’t ruling out the possibility that it might be linked to an incident that took place at the tournament two days ago. Following his win over France’s Corentin Moutet, Djokovic suffered a blow to his head after a fan accidentally dropped a metal bottle from the stands. Immediately afterwards, he experienced nausea, dizziness and bleeding for up to an hour but was checked by medical officials.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that.” Djokovic replied when asked if the incident affected his form on Sunday.
“Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.
“Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.
“It could be. I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on. “

The tennis star said he managed to sleep fine after his head blow but did experience headaches. He looked to be in good spirits the day after it happened and even turned up to practice in Rome wearing a safety helmet.

Djokovic’s concerns come two weeks before the start of the French Open where he is seeking a record 25th Major title. He will undoubtedly be one of the contenders for glory but admits there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the coming days. 

“Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win it,” he said.
“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, and no balance whatsoever on any shot.
“It’s a bit concerning.”

The French Open will begin on Sunday 26th May. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending