‘Greatness’, ‘One of the 3 GOATs’: Dominic Thiem Fittingly Describes Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Published 09/02/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier


The US Open 2020 winner Dominic Thiem has been making steady progress on his road to recovery. Jut before Wimbledon 2021, the Austrian suffered a terrible wrist injury that forced him off the circuit. Ever since then, Thiem has been keeping himself busy in many ways. He has returned to practice, and is also doing numerous interviews off the court. Recently, Thiem spoke about two greats, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and how influential they’ve been for tennis.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 15: Team Serena consisting of Serena Williams of the USA, Dominic Thiem of Austria, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Rafael Nadal of Spain look on during the Rally for Relief Bushfire Appeal event at Rod Laver Arena on January 15, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

The powerful Thiem has been a constant feature in the ATP’s top-10 for a while now. He reached a couple of French Open finals, before going all the way at Flushing Meadows in 2020. It was a big breakthrough for the star, considering he was ranked as high as No.3 for a long time, with no dividends. His injury at the Mallorca Open 2021 however, has put his ranking at risk. While the 27-year-old has vowed to be back in 2022, he has been keeping himself active off the court for now.

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Dominic Thiem on what he thinks of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal with the trophy after winning his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic who poses with the runners up trophy REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Thiem has faced the three greats – Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal multiple times in his career. He has had some memorable moments along the way, having beaten all three men. In a candid chat with Tennis Channel, Thiem had some nice things to say about his fellow friends and rivals.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Top Racket Smashing Moments at US Open Over the Years

Playing a small game, the former World No.3 iterated his admiration for Djokovic and Nadal. When asked about what word he associates with the Serbian, he responded, “Greatness!” Moments later, Thiem was asked what he thinks of the Spanish southpaw Nadal. Without batting an eyelid, he claimed, “I would say one of the three GOATs in men’s tennis. As well as an honor to meet him and to play against him.” It was a classy set of responses from a classy player.

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What do you make of Dominic Thiem’s descriptions of Djokovic and Nadal? Most would agree with what he said, as we are surely fortunate to be witnessing the three legends of the sport at once. Nevertheless, we can pray that the Austrian returns to the circuit sooner rather than later, and plays a part in more duels in the future!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

233 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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