In the last two decades, the Tennis world has been dominated by the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. From 2003 till 2021, the trio have won 20, 18 and 20 Grand Slam titles respectively. Federer set the original benchmark and was the first of the triumvirate to achieve the Grand Slam title when he won the French Open in 2009. Nadal and Djokovic followed suit, with both setting a different benchmark of dominance. Nadal has won the French Open a world record of 13 times while Djokovic has won the Australian Open nine times. There have been players who have tried to battle the three prime greats in Tennis, but they have had limited success. However, all that may change in the new decade.
One Austrian player has made gigantic strides in the Tennis world. When he won the US Open in 2020, it was like the passing of a torch to a new generation. In fact, his record against the Big Three have been superb for a player so young. Dominic Thiem has been counted as one of the finest players among the current generation and many believe that he can either match the brilliance of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic or create a whole new yardstick by which Tennis dominance can be measured.
Thiem is one of the few players who have a positive head-to-head record against Federer, winning five out of seven encounters against the Swiss legend. Against Djokovic, he has won five and lost seven encounters, which is not bad for a youngster. He has shown no nerves even against Nadal by winning six and losing nine encounters against the Spaniard.
Thiem has reached the final of the French Open twice where he has been defeated by Nadal. In 2020, he reached the Australian Open final but he lost to Djokovic. In 2019 and also in the following year, Thiem lost the year-ending ATP Championship final twice to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev. It seemed that for some time, Thiem would have to play the perennial bridesmaid as Grand Slam success eluded him. However, when he won the US Open in 2020 by beating Alexander Zverev in five sets, his potential was realised.
His consistency in Grand Slams has seen his reach No.3 in the ATP rankings but when he won the US Open, he became the first player to win a Grand Slam title after being born in the 90s. Currently, Thiem is 27 and has age on his side. Djokovic and Nadal are nearing 35 while Federer is close to 40. Nadal, Djokovic and Federer all have only a few years left in the tank and the next generation, which includes Thiem, Tsitsipas, Medvedev and Zverev can all step up and establish the kind of dominance that was set initially by Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.