Austrian tennis player Dominic Thiem is of the opinion that it’s only a matter of time before more players outside of the so-called ‘Big three’ – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – begin to win major titles. Federer and Nadal each have a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles, whereas Djokovic has won 18 Slams. “The Grand Slams are still dominated by the Big 3,” said Thiem ahead of the start of his Internazionali BNL d’Italia campaign.
“It’s way tougher to beat them, to win three sets against them, it’s way more difficult of course than to win two [sets]. That’s one of the big reasons. But we have a lot of finals already in Grand Slam tournaments. I think in the near future it’s also going to happen that somebody else is going to win them.”
“I also think a lot of people underestimate the time and the era we are playing in, with by far the three best players in the history of the game. I think it’s more than clear that it’s incredibly tough to win Grand Slam tournaments, having to beat two of them most of the time.”
Thiem, the 2020 US Open titlist, returned to the ATP Tour last week and reached the semifinals of the Madrid Open following a small break from the sport. Speaking about his return, he said, “It’s always a great experience playing in Madrid. I love that tournament. Health-wise everything is fine. Before Madrid, I had like two-and-a-half, three weeks really tough practice, so I got used to it again.”
“[I] also got blisters on [my] hand. That’s why I [had] taping… Beside that, everything is fine. The knee, which was causing me trouble in the preparation [to the tournament], is pain-free. Everything is good. Also, I recovered quite well after the four matches.”
“I always had some kind of little troubles here after coming from Madrid. Luckily, I was always playing well in Madrid, so [I] didn’t have so much time to prepare. It’s from altitude to sea level. I think it’s a different type of clay, as well. Way slower, obviously. So completely different conditions. I hope that I can do better than the last two times I played here. I lost my first match both times.”
Calling the break which he took for the sport as “good”, the World No. 4 said when he steps on court, it’s all about winning.
“The pressure is always the same,” said Thiem. “When I step on court, I want to win the match. There are going to be lots of close calls, close situations. I’m always going to be nervous. That’s how it’s going to be until the end of my career. But still the break was really good.”