Dominic Thiem would like to be in Novak Djokovic's shoes to "experience" Calendar Slam, says Serb will be under "huge pressure"

Novak Djokovic after beating Alexander Zverev
Novak Djokovic after beating Alexander Zverev

Dominic Thiem recently gave his thoughts on Novak Djokovic's bid for the Calendar Slam. According to the Austrian, the tennis fraternity ought to be "grateful" to the Serb if he manages to accomplish the feat.

Thiem also admitted that he would like to be in Djokovic's shoes to experience the feeling of winning a Calendar Slam. But in the same breath, the Austrian mentioned that he would have also liked to have gotten a chance to stop the Serb in his tracks.

Novak Djokovic is now one win away from becoming the first man since Rod Laver (1969) to complete the Calendar Slam. Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev in the US Open semifinals on Friday, and now only needs to defeat Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's final to etch his name into tennis folklore.

Dominic Thiem, who won the US Open last year, believes Novak Djokovic will be under "huge pressure" given how close he is to making history.

“I can imagine there is such huge pressure, something none of us can even imagine," Thiem said while speaking exclusively to Eurosport.

The Austrian pointed out that winning a solitary Grand Slam took such a huge effort for him, making the feat of a Calendar Slam several times more stressful.

"Winning one Grand Slam was such a huge effort and big pressure but the calendar Slam is unique and I wasn’t born the last time it happened in men’s tennis," Thiem said. "That shows what an achievement that is."

Thiem firmly believes that Novak Djokovic will leave no stone unturned in his attempt to win his fourth US Open title.

Dominic Thiem with his 2020 US Open title
Dominic Thiem with his 2020 US Open title

Thiem then surmised that irrespective of the result in Sunday's final, tennis stands to gain a great deal. On one hand, a young player could end up winning his maiden Slam title, while on the other, Djokovic could create history. Thiem also mentioned he would have liked to have been present to try and stop Djokovic's charge.

"He has this target in mind and will do everything he can to reach it," Dominic Thiem said. "I would like to be in his shoes and experience that, but I would prefer to be in my shoes to stop him doing that. Either we see a great young player winning their first Slam or we see absolute history."

Thiem believes the tennis fraternity should be "grateful" to the World No. 1 if he achieves the Calendar Slam as it's a feat that may never be witnessed again in the future.

"Right now, it's probable we will witness history that we will never see again in our lives," Thiem said. "It's the chance of a century and we should be grateful for that."

Daniil Medvedev never drops his level no matter how long a match goes on: Dominic Thiem

Daniil Medvedev will face Novak Djokovic on Sunday's final
Daniil Medvedev will face Novak Djokovic on Sunday's final

Dominic Thiem also gave his thoughts on Daniil Medvedev, pointing out that the Russian's level of play never dips regardless of how long a match lasts.

"He (Daniil Medvedev) never drops his level no matter how long a match goes," Dominic Thiem said.

The Austrian then highlighted some of Medvedev's strengths, mentioning how the Russian's serve is "very difficult to break". Thiem also heaped praise on Medvedev's defensive ability as well as his movement on hard courts.

"He’s very difficult to break as he has a great first and second serve," he added. "He puts a lot of shots in from the baseline, which is his speciality, and this combination is so tough. Hard courts are his best and he is moving extraordinarily well, especially on a hard court.”
Edited by Arvind Sriram
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