Dominic Thiem starting to master the art of consistency against the Big Three
Did you know Dominic Thiem beat Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in each of his most recent matches against them? Did you know Thiem has a 60% winning ratio against Federer?
It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? However, chalking up wins against the Big Three is nothing new for the Austrian as he has been doing it since the 2016 season.
Three years ago, at the age of 22, Thiem made people sit up and take note of his talent when he pulled off wins over Nadal (Buenos Aires) and Federer (Rome and Stuttgart).
In 2017 he proved that those wins were no fluke as he got the scalps of then world No 1 Andy Murray (Barcelona) as well as Nadal (Rome) and Djokovic (Roland Garros).
But while it is great to get wins over those illustrious names, he often let himself down as he failed to back up a win over the Big Three with another win, especially in a final.
After the 2018 season, a year during which he finished runner-up to Nadal at the French Open, Thiem identified consistency at the business of tournaments as an area in which needed to improve.
“For me personally – I believe the others as well – it’s the consistency, which distinguishes Djokovic, Federer and Nadal, that is still missing,” he told Westfalen in an interview in December.
“They will beat one of the other top players in the quarter-final and then in the semi-final and in the final.
“I have beaten them, but then the next match or the day after you cannot keep up that level.”
Fast forward four months and Thiem appears to have solved the problem of not backing up the big wins.
The year started slowly with a second-round exit at the Australian, but at the BNP Paribas Open final in March, there were no signs of nerves when he captured his third win in five matches against Federer.
At the Barcelona Open in April he stunned Nadal in the semi-finals to claim his fourth win over the Spaniard, but whereas in previous years he was unable to follow it up with another win, this time he dispatched Daniil Medvedev with ease in the final.
Naturally the next big step would be to win a Grand Slam and many believe he is the Prince of Clay, ready to ascent the throne once Nadal calls it a day.
But the way he performing at the moment, he looks ready to dethrone the King of Clay.
And it is not just on the red dirt where he is doing the business as he beat Federer on the hard courts of Indian Wells in March and on grass in Stuttgart in 2016.
Next up is the Madrid Open and he has fond memories of Caja Magica as he reached the final the last two years. He beat Nadal in the 2018 quarter-final only to lose to Zverev in the final while Nadal was victorious in the 2017 final.
With the Indian Wells and Barcelona titles already in the bag, he can lay down a real marker for Roland Garros with victory in Madrid.
More from Tennis365:
Dominic Thiem on Emma Raducanu’s US Open win: ‘It’s one of the greatest achievements in women’s sport’
“Perhaps it is the greatest breakthrough of all time,” says Dominic Thiem.
‘Unfair that Novak Djokovic is always the bad guy and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are the good guys’
“I hope he is treated a little more fairly,” says Boris Becker.
Venus Williams explains backstory behind photo with Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova at Met Gala
Just Venus, Serena and Maria enjoying a laugh in the bathroom at the Met Gala.
‘I think it’s gradually sinking in a bit more,’ says Emma Raducanu after ‘whirlwind experience’
The teenager took part in a round of breakfast TV and radio interviews.
‘People are talking about tennis again,’ revels Boris Becker after ‘Dame Emma Raducanu’s’ heroics
Boris Becker waxes lyrical about Emma Raducanu.
Tennis to introduce ‘Stefanos Tsitsipas bathroom break rule’ following Greek’s lengthy loo visits?
Stricter rules on the cards following furore over Stefanos Tsitsipas’ loo breaks.
LTA chief insists Emma Raducanu will not lose focus after stunning rise to the top
Lloyd has called for the newly-crowned US Open champion to be given “breathing space”.
Emma Raducanu delighted to return back in the UK and reunite with her father
Raducanu was pictured outside her house after travelling back from New York.
Shock defeat for Andy Murray as he is beaten in Rennes
The Russian is ranked 42 places below Murray.
John McEnroe speaks for the first time about comments over Emma Raducanu’s Wimbledon exit
John McEnroe has insisted he has no regrets over his Emma Raducanu comments.