Dominic Thiem ‘Far Away’ From Joining Big Three Despite Career Milestone - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


Dominic Thiem ‘Far Away’ From Joining Big Three Despite Career Milestone

The 27-year-old assesses how close he thinks his level is to that of Novak Djokovic and Co.




On Saturday at the ATP Finals Dominic Thiem achieved a unique record in the sport which has only ever been done by Andy Murray before.


Taking to the court for his semi-final match against Novak Djokovic, the Austrian prevailed in a tightly contested three-set showdown. Not only did the win elevate Thiem into the final of the year-end championships, it marked his 16th victory over a member of the Big Three. A trio contesting between Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Thiem has now defeated each of them at least five times.

“To beat every single of the three best players of all time five times each, it’s something great for me,” the world No.3 said.
“But still every single match against them is a huge privilege. It’s a huge opportunity to learn. Of course if you beat these guys, it gives you a huge boost of confidence.”

Despite the season being heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Thiem has managed to continue his rise in the sport. At the US Open he won his first Grand Slam title after coming back from two sets down to defeat Alexander Zverev in the final. He was also runner-up at the Australian Open to make it the first season where he had featured in multiple major finals.

It is due to those achievements why some believe the 27-year-old is the most likely to take over the reign on the Big Three in the future. Although Thiem believes the concept of him turning the Big Three rivalry into the ‘Fab Four’ with him included is something that is still a long way away.

“If you compare us, especially the big titles, I’m so far away. I have one slam, one Masters 1000, and that’s it,” he explained.
“But I love to play against them. It’s such a huge thing every single match against them. We younger players can feel super happy that these three living legends are still around and we can compete with them. Every match against them is a great opportunity.”

Ironically, it can be argued that part of Thiem’s success is linked to the inspiration he has got from the top guns. Following his triumph over Djokovic, he said he has been studying the Serbian’s game in tiebreakers which has helped him on the Tour.

“I took him as an example because he has won so many important tiebreaks in his career,” he said of Djokovic. “I have the feeling that when he’s going into the tiebreaker, he just refuses to miss.That’s what I tried to do as well, especially from the restart of the tour. I tried to do that and it’s working out super well.”

Thiem, who has now won 300 matches on the Tour, will play Daniil Medvedev for the ATP Finals trophy on Sunday. He leads their head-to-head 3-1.

Thiem Vs the Big Three

  • Rafael Nadal: He trails their head-to-head 6-9 but has won three out of their four most recent meetings.
  • Novak Djokovic: Djokovic leads 7-4 but they are 2-2 since the start of 2019.
  • Roger Federer: The only member of the Big Three Thiem has a positive record against after winning five out of their seven clashes.


Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.




Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.


The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

Continue Reading


Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag




Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 


Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

Continue Reading


Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.




Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.


The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

Continue Reading