Dominic Thiem’s win at the US Open 2020 broke a four-year streak on the Grand Slams by the ‘Big 3’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. However, what it also did is kept the battle between the Big 3 for ‘most Grand Slams’ stationed at where it was.
Novak Djokovic was the favorite to win the tournament and his 18th Grand Slam title with that. His disqualification changed it all. Now, former French Open winner Marc Rosset believes that Thiem is Federer’s biggest hope to keep his record of 20 Grand Slams intact.
“Let’s be honest: [Thiem] is Roger Federer’s best ally today. If the Master hopes to keep some of his records, he will have to count on Thiem in the next few years,” Rosset, the 1992 French Open doubles champion, said.
Djokovic recently expressed his desire to break two big records held by Roger Federer. One being the Grand Slam record, and the other being ‘most weeks as world number one’.
The ‘Big 3’ were part of a ‘Big 4’ not long ago, that included three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray. The Briton star and Federer’s fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka challenged the trio over the last decade. Murray and Wawrinka have six Grand Slams between them. However, the domination of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic is still prevalent.
Rosset believes Thiem can match what Murray did a few years ago. He feels the Austrian star has the capability to defeat Nadal and Djokovic on their favorite surfaces and help Federer keep his record.
“[He] can become the Andy Murray of the 2020s and finally defeats the curse. We are counting on him to continue his momentum and confirm that he is indeed a great champion by going on to defeat Nadal and Djokovic on their surfaces,” the 1992 Olympic singles gold medalist continued.
Thiem starts his French Open 2020 campaign against another former US Open champion, Marin Cilic. Thiem will have his chance to topple Rafael Nadal on his beloved clay courts. That is if both men reach the semi-finals. Meawnhile, Murray and Wawrinka face each other in the first round.
Djokovic faces Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in the opening match, while Nadal faces Egor Gerasimov of Belarus.
On the back of his maiden Grand Slam win, Thiem will hope to live up to Rosset’s words.