Prior to 2021, Dominic Thiem's rise on the ATP Tour was steady. The Austrian had posted consistent results and qualified for the year-end ATP Finals in five consecutive years.
The 28-year-old has only won one Slam (2020 US Open) and one Masters 1000 title (2019 Indian Wells), but his consistency across surfaces has allowed him to stay near the summit of the men's game. And that is reflected in his statistical superiority over his peers - at least when it comes to beating the top dogs.
A major reason behind Dominic Thiem's success has been his ability to compete with the game's best. The Austrian has the third most successful record against the Big 3 - the trio of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer -- after Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro.
Thiem has posted 16 wins over the legendary trio, while Del Potro has managed 17, and Murray 29.
Federer is the only player in the Big 3 that Thiem has a positive head-to-head record against. Thiem leads the head-to-head 5-2, including a semifinal victory on grass in Stuttgart in 2016, a win in the final of Indian Wells in 2019, and a hard-fought quarterfinal triumph in Madrid in 2019.
Thiem struggled against Novak Djokovic in their first few meetings but he has enjoyed plenty of success recently. The Austrian has won three of his last four meetings with Djokovic, including deciding-set tiebreak victories at the 2019 and 2020 ATP Finals.
The Austrian has defeated the Serb twice at Roland Garros -- in 2017 and 2019 -- and narrowly lost a five-set thriller in the final of the 2020 Australian Open. He trails the head-to-head 5-7 against the 34-year-old.
Dominic Thiem has contested some outstanding matches with Rafael Nadal, primarily due to their similar playing styles. The 28-year-old trails the head-to-head 6-9 against the Spaniard, but has won three of their last four meetings.
Thiem is widely considered the best claycourt player after the Spaniard and has even notched three wins over Nadal on the surface. He also defeated Nadal in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Australian Open.
The pair also faced off in the quarterfinals of the 2018 US Open in what is considered by many to be one of the best Grand Slam matches of the past decade. The Austrian bagelled Nadal for just the 15th time in the Spaniard's career in the first set, but the 20-time Slam champion fought back to win 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7(4), 7-6(5).
Dominic Thiem is one of three players to have defeated Federer on grass, Djokovic on hard, and Nadal on clay
Dominic Thiem's shotmaking ability makes him a major threat on slower surfaces. But he has held his own on quicker courts as well. He is one of only three players to have defeated Roger Federer on grass, Novak Djokovic on hardcourt, and Rafael Nadal on clay.
Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev are the other two players to have achieved the feat.
Thiem defeated Federer on grass in Stuttgart in 2016. He has two wins on hardcourt over Djokovic, in consecutive ATP Finals. He defeated Nadal on clay in Buenos Aires in 2016, Rome in 2018, and Barcelona in 2019.