‘It just counts more’ – Dominic Thiem determined to break Grand Slam duck before ‘big three’ retire

Dominic Thiem consoled by Novak Djokovic

Dominic Thiem is determined to win his first Grand Slam title while Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer are still active – becasue it would ‘mean more’.

Thiem lost the Australian Open final to Djokovic on Sunday. It was his third Grand Slam final defeat after losing twice to Nadal at the French Open too.

He came within a whisker of breaking his Grand Slam duck in Melbourne, though, and for that he is both grateful to the ‘big three’ and exasperated by them.

“These guys brought tennis to a complete new level. They also brought me probably to a much better level,” Thiem said.

“It was easier for sure in a different era to win big titles, that’s 100 per cent. But I’m happy I can compete with these guys on the best level.

“I really hope that I win my maiden Slam when they’re still around, because it just counts more.”

Thiem is the latest in a long line of players who have seen Grand Slam titles snatched from them by Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal, and so he knows better than most how frustrating it can be.

“It’s unique in sports history that the three best players by far are playing in the same era.

“That’s what makes it very, very difficult for other players to break through.

“As a different player than them, you have to beat at least two of them to win a big title.

“Almost all players [have] failed to do that. That’s what makes it so tough.”

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