Defending champion Novak Djokovic is wary of Dominic Thiem threat in the finals of the Australian Open 2020. The World No.2 is the favourite to clinch his record eighth title in Melbourne. However, he is aware of Thiem’s ability to outclass him in the blockbuster finals on Sunday.
The fifth-seed flaunts an impressive recent record against Djokovic, winning four of their past five encounters. This includes a thrilling five-setter victory in the 2019 French Open semifinals and the Nitto ATP Finals in November.
Djokovic explained that Thiem has drastically improved his hard-court game. The Serb suggested that his Indian Wells Masters 2019 title against Roger Federer gave him more confidence on the surface. The 32-year-old was also impressed with the Austrian’s performance against Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Australian Open.
“Dominic won our last match we played against each other, a close one in London. He played a terrific match against Rafa. I watched that. Definitely one of the best players in the world. Deserves to be where he is,” Djokovic said in the post-match press conference on Thursday.
He further added: “It seems like he’s improved his game a lot on hard courts because his game is more suitable to the slower surfaces. The clay, of course, being his favourite surface. But winning Indian Wells I think last year, beating Roger in the finals, that probably gave him a lot of confidence that he can win big tournaments on other surfaces, as well.”
The 32-year-old does not think that Thiem is a next-generation as he is already an established top-five, top-ten player and he played a couple of grand slam finals. He believes that it is just a matter of one match here and there that can potentially give him a grand slam title and can actually get in the mix of top three in the world.
“Thiem definitely has the game, he has the experience now, he has the strength. He has all the means to really be there,” Novak concluded.