Dominic Thiem’s title victory at the US Open 2020 broke the Big Three’s four-year hold on Grand Slam titles. Thiem’s title win seems to have given the Next-Gen the confidence to challenge Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic at the Majors and Grigor Dimitrov is one of them.
In his early days on the ATP Tour, Dimitrov was touted as the player who would challenge the supremacy of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. However, he has failed to challenge the three at the Grand Slam level. Now, Grigor Dimitrov believes that a change of guard is on the horizon.
“I think it was good, it’s new, it’s fresh for everyone. It’s intriguing as well at the same time,” Dimitrov said on Thiem’s win. “It helps the young generation to believe a little bit more. You’re going to see a lot of more different winners I think, overall.”
Tough task for Next-Gen
Another Next-Gen star, Alexander Zverev, came mighty close to winning a Major himself. He had a 2-0 set advantage over Thiem in the 2020 US Open final. He even had the chance to serve the match out but failed to do so. Sadly for the German, he may not get another golden opportunity like that soon.
Novak Djokovic’s 4th round exit at the US Open was the first occasion since 2004 that neither Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic had made a Grand Slam quarter-final. In over a decade now, only Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin Del Potro, Marin Cilic, and now Thiem have won a Slam apart from the Big 3.
Grigor Dimitrov starts well on clay
Dimitrov will be hoping he can turn around his fortunes and finally challenge the top players. At 29, he is still in the prime stage of his career to make it happen. He is currently looking in good touch at the Italian Open 2020. The 15th seed won his first three matches against Gianluca Mager, Yoshihito Nishioka, and Jannik Sinner, respectively.
He now faces another Next-Gen prospect in rising Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov, who is the 12th seed.
Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem will make his first appearance, since winning his first Major, directly at the French Open 2020. Clay is Thiem’s favorite surface and he will look to go one better than his two final appearances there. It will be interesting to see if Dimitrov’s prediction comes true.