The Italian Open came to an end with Alexander Zverev stunning Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win his maiden Masters 1000 title. The tournament had a number of exciting matches and upsets but the biggest one of the all was probably the defeat of Rafael Nadal to Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals.The Austrian had previously met Nadal in the finals of both the Barcelona Open and the Madrid Masters but had been the loser on both occasions. However, he brought an end to his losing streak by defeating the Spaniard in straight sets at the Italian Open. Thiem’s journey came to an end in the semi-finals after Djokovic trounced him in the semis.Here are 5 things you probably did not know about Dominic Thiem#5. He has played the Doubles tournaments of all four Majors
With the Austrian making a name in the Singles circuit, people hardly know that he has been in Doubles tournaments. As a matter of fact, Thiem has actually played 69 Doubles matches, winning 22 of them. His highest ranking in the Doubles circuit is 86th and is currently ranked 198th in the world.Thiem has played in the Doubles tournaments of every single Grand Slam with his first Grand Slam Doubles tournament being the 2014 French Open where he partnered Slovak Martin Klizan and was eliminated in the first round by the American-German pair of Nicolas Monroe and Simon Stadler. Thiem’s best performances in the Grand Slam Doubles tournaments has been reaching the second round of all four majors except the French Open.
#4. He reached the quarter-finals of his first two ATP events
Thiem turned professional in 2011 but spent his first few professional years mainly on the ITF and the ATP Challenger Circuits. His first ever ATP tournament was the 2013 Bet-at-home cup at Kitzbühel in his native Austria, where he was given a wildcard.The young talent began his tournament by beating Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round which was followed by defeating compatriot and 2010 French Open semi-finalist Jurgen Melzer in the second round to reach the quarter-finals where he was beaten by eventual semi-finalist Albert Montanes in straight sets.
Following this, Thiem received another wildcard for the 2013 Erste Bank Open in Vienna where he defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver in a tight three-setter before trouncing Vasek Pospisil 6-1, 6-1 tp reach his second ATP quarter-final where he was beaten by top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets.
#3. Thiem’s first Masters 1000 final came at the Madrid Open this year
With Thiem having already reached a Grand Slam semi-final and the Top 10 of the ATP rankings, people will surely be of the opinion that he may have performed considerably well at the Masters 1000 tournaments. But the fact is that Thiem did not reach a Masters semi-final, let alone a final until this year’s Madrid Open.Seeded eighth, Thiem beat Jared Donaldson in his opening match before defeating Grigor Dimitrov in a tight three-setter to reach the quarter-finals. Thiem defeated Borna Coric in the quarters to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final where he beat Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas to reach his first Masters 1000 final. Thiem would go on to lose to Rafael Nadal.
#2. Thiem won a set against Andy Murray in his maiden ATP 500 tournament
After winning his first Grand Slam match at the 2014 Australian Open, Thiem qualified for the Rotterdam Open, his maiden ATP 500 tournament, defeating France’s Kenny de Schepper and Slovakia’s Adrian Sikora. In the first round, he was up against three-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Jarkko Nieminen, whom he defeated in three sets to set up a second round encounter against Andy Murray.Murray expectedly took the first set 6-4 but Thiem rebounded by surprisingly winning the second set 6-3. However, Thiem could not produce the upset he wanted to produce as the Scot kept his cool and won the third set 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals where he would lose to eventual runner-up Marin Cilic in straight sets.
#1. Thiem reached a Junior World Ranking of 2
Dominic Thiem had a strong junior career, during which he reached a combined Singles and Doubles ranking of World No.2. Thiem also reached a junior Grand Slam final at the 2011 French Open. Seeded 14th, Thiem beat Kyle Edmund in the first round, following which he beat American Mitchell Krueger in the second round.In the third round, Thiem beat 3rd seeded Slovak Filip Horansky and then defeated Spanish qualifier Oriol Roca Batalla to reach the semi-finals where he came back from a set down to beat Croat Mate Delic. In the final, Thiem was up against American Bjorn Fratangelo. Thiem took the first set but Fratangelo came back to take the second set and the final set went to sudden death where Fratangelo edged out Thiem 8-6.Thiem ended his junior career by winning his final three Singles titles, including the coveted Dunlop Orange Bowl.