Dominic Thiem is in the form of his life on the hard surface as he makes his first Grand Slam final at the 2020 Australian Open. The Austrian beat Rafael Nadal in an epic encounter, and now, has backed it up with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(4) victory over Alexander Zverev.
Thiem and Zverev played three hours and 32 minutes of intriguing tennis. Eventually, the Austrian emerged victoriously as the new man to challenge Novak Djokovic for his throne in Melbourne.
During his post-match press conference, Dominic Thiem acknowledged the fact that in previous years, he had a tendency to fall in the round following a victory over a big name.
“I also had big issues with that 2-3 years ago when I was beating a big guy, I had almost all the time, lost my next match. But with experience and more times when you are facing that situation, it got better”
Thiem admitted he was not “in the zone” at the start of the match
“Also today, in the beginning, I had some troubles. I was not in the zone, like straightaway in the match like against Rafa. It took a while maybe 20-30 minutes, but I think that’s normal. you just have to fight through.”
The Austrian was indeed not at his best in the opening set, as Zverev rushed through to take the lead. He did manage to steady the ship fairly quickly and channel his good form to overcome the German. With Sascha putting 81% of his first serves in, it was no easy task either. Especially with Zverev serving at an average first serve speed of 201 km/h.
While not quite as thrilling as the Thiem-Nadal match, it was still enthralling to see the two baseline hitters face-off. Zverev’s last few months have not been his finest. However, he is a big name, and Thiem managed to beat him. Perhaps the Austrian has banished his past demons and can do the unexpected. He is certainly at the peak of his physical powers.
To beat Nadal and Djokovic in a single event is no joking matter. It takes a monumental effort to beat just one of these names in a Grand Slam match. If a player manages to beat both, he surely deserves the title. Just ask Stan Wawrinka, who did just that back in 2014.