Dominic Thiem impressed by young guns Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz
Dominic Thiem may have been absent from the ATP Tour for nearly a year, but he still kept abreast of the comings and goings and Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz are two players who have left a big impression on him.
Having picked up a serious injury in June last year, Thiem was forced to miss the second half of the 2021 campaign and the beginning of the 2022 season.
It meant he was unable to defend his US Open title last August, but it did leave him with plenty of free time watch some tennis on TV.
“I started to watch again from the US Open onwards. It is a little bit different if you watch from some distance For 10 years I was almost at every tournament, so watching on TV is different,” he told ATPTour.com.
“But now you see way more stuff and I also thought ‘How good are they playing!’ It is unbelievable I was there just one year ago, so you appreciate the level much more.”
Two players caught his attention as Thiem named Sinner and Alcaraz as youngsters with bright futures.
The 20-year-old Sinner is currently No 10 in the ATP Rankings and the Italian reached the quarter-finals at this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Spaniard Alcaraz currently sits at No 5 in the rankings. The 19-year-old has already won four titles this year – including two ATP Masters 1000 events – and reached the quarter-final of the US Open last year and this year’s French Open.
Sinner and Alcaraz were up against each other in the fourth round at Wimbledon earlier in April and it was the Italian who came out on top in four sets.
Thiem added: “I played against Jannik Sinner at an exhibition and hit with him at many tournaments, so I knew he was coming to the top and he was good [to watch]. He has been there for a while and he will probably be even higher soon.
“I knew Carlos Alcaraz, but he made the big breakthrough when I was not there. But I saw him quite a lot because he won Umag and then he played in Kitzbuehel and he lost to an Austrian guy [Alexander Erler] and I saw that whole match. You could see it was not going to take long for him to break through. You could see he was going to be in the Top 10.
“Hopefully I will play them soon as it is always exciting to face new players as I have faced most of the guys already and know them quite well. I can imagine it is not that fun to play against Alcaraz. It must be really hard!”
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