Dominic Thiem Feels It’s Impossible to Become the Successor to Nadal, Federer or Djokovic

Published 08/12/2021, 7:49 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11: Dominic Thiem of Austria looks on in the third set during his Men’s Singles semifinal match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia on Day Twelve of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


US Open champion, Dominic Thiem, has been out of action for nearly two months. The Austrian suffered a wrist injury at the 2021 Mallorca Championships, which forced him to retire from his opening match.

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Since then, the injury has forced Thiem to withdraw from the Wimbledon Championships, Tokyo Olympics, the ongoing National Bank Open, and the next week’s Cincinnati Open, as well. In fact, his participation at the US Open, which starts in less than three weeks, also hangs in doubt.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 13, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action during his third round match against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Dominic Thiem talks about the Big-3

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In a recent interview with Agencia Efe, the host asked Thiem whether he could become the successor to Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer’s dominance since they have ruled the tennis world for the last decade and a half.

“It is impossible to be the heir to the throne of the best tennis players of all time,” said Thiem, categorically mentioning that the extraordinary success and supremacy of the Big-3 is insurmountable.

(Quotes have been translated)

However, Thiem believes he can beat the Big-3 once he gets back to the best version. Over the last two years, Thiem has posed a genuine threat to the Big-3.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Dominic Thiem of Austria and Rafael Nadal of Spain embrace at the net following their Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match on day ten of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Thiem has won 3 of his last five matches against Nadal and Djokovic. His head-to-head record against Nadal stands at 9-6 while it’s 7-5 against Djokovic. Against Federer, Thiem holds a 5-2 advantage in their rivalry so far.

With his splint removed, World No. 6 has returned to the tennis court and has been training hard over the last two weeks. However, he stills finds himself in a race to be ready to compete before the start of the US Open.

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Recently, Thiem hired Jez Green, who has formerly worked with Alexander Zverev and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, to his team as his new physical conditioning coach. As Thiem recovers from his wrist injury, Green would help him get back in top physical shape.

For the fans, nothing would be better to witness Thiem competing at the iconic Arthur Ashe Stadium to defend his title.

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Kshitij Tayal

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Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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