Former Austrian footballer and current Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl believes that countryman Dominic Thiem has a great chance of becoming World No. 1 in the future.
The 53-year-old Hasenhuttl is an avid tennis fan, and has even met Dominic Thiem a few times. Thiem on his part is a well-known supporter of Chelsea, and keeps abreast of all the latest happenings in the football world.
Hasenhuttl revealed that in the past he had invited Thiem to attend one of Southampton's matches, but timing ended up being an issue.
"I know Dominic Thiem very well, I can say, because we met each other a few times since he is a Chelsea fan," Hasnhuttl said. "I tried to invite him but it then the timing did not work. I'm always following his development, his game, amazing progress he has made in his game. I would really like to watch him live once here in England, in London but it's not possible at the moment."
Hasenhuttl is of the opinion that World No. 3 Dominic Thiem has the best shot among the younger players to dethrone the Big 3 and ascend to the No. 1 ranking.
"There will come a time when I can see him play and hopefully then he is still a top player," Hasenhuttl added. "At the moment, he has the best package (game) to be No. 1 in the future. That is his main goal and I am sure that he can achieve it."
Dominic Thiem takes on Daniil Medvedev in the ATP Finals on Sunday
Dominic Thiem is currently in London for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, where he is set to take on Russia's Daniil Medvedev for the title on Sunday.
Thiem scored a thrilling 7-5, 6-7, 7-6 win over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the first semifinal on Saturday, while Medvedev ended Rafael Nadal's hopes of a first ATP Finals title with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 win in the other one.
Thiem leads Medvedev 3-1 in career head-to-head matchups. The Austrian won their most recent encounter at the 2020 US Open in straight sets en route to winning his first Grand Slam title.