Austria's Jurij Rodionov recently spoke in glowing terms about compatriot Dominic Thiem, while also lauding the Big 3 for their longevity. The 21-year-old Rodionov believes that Thiem’s extraordinary physical prowess and relentless consistency make him one of the favorites at every Major event.
Jurij Rodionov, ranked No. 144 in the world, is one of the most promising youngsters from Austria right now. The youngster often works with Dominic Thiem’s father, Wolfgang, and has close ties with the World No. 3 as well.
While speaking to tennisnet, Rodionov highlighted some of Dominic Thiem’s key qualities that he believes have made the 27-year-old a force to reckon with at Grand Slams.
“Dominic is now always a potential candidate for a Grand Slam title because he is extremely fit, has an incredible game, and has been very consistent over the past year or two - he really manages to bring his best tennis to the court week after week,” Rodionov said.
Moving on to some of Thiem’s more illustrious rivals, Jurij Rodionov opined that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have done a terrific job of maintaining their high standards despite being well into their 30s.
“One always has the feeling that the older the ‘Big 3’ get, the greater the chances for the youngsters,” Rodionov continued. “But the old hands are still doing very well for their age. Federer is 39, Nadal is 34, Djokovic 33 - that's really amazing what the guys at the top of the world are doing.”
Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have an excellent chance of winning a Grand Slam: Jurij Rodionov
Jurij Rodionov also marked out Daniil Medvedev as one of Dominic Thiem's chief rivals for Grand Slam success in 2021.
According to Rodionov, Medvedev boasts of an unconventional but effective style of play that can upset the rhythm of any player facing him.
“I find his game very unorthodox and very uncomfortable - he just has hits that you can't read, where you feel very uncomfortable as an opponent,” the Austrian said. “The two have a very good chance of winning a Grand Slam tournament.”
Like Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev faced defeat in his maiden Grand Slam final appearance. Interestingly enough, that loss also came against Rafael Nadal (2019 US Open).
The Russian has failed to make the title round at a Major since then, although he did come close at the 2020 US Open - where he lost to eventual champion Dominic Thiem in the semis.
The Russian will undoubtedly be keen on improving his record on that front in the upcoming season, beginning with the Australian Open.