Dominic Thiem suffered disappointment for the second straight year at the Nitto ATP Finals, losing to Daniil Medvedev in the final. The Austrian was the favorite to lift the title in the eyes of many given the manner in which he had defeated both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but he couldn't overcome the tactical superiority of Medvedev on Sunday.
Nevertheless, Dominic Thiem is still pretty happy about his form and season overall. The Austrian believes he has built a good platform upon which he can improve even further in 2021 and cement his place at the top of the sport along with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
While speaking to the press after his defeat to Medvedev, Dominic Thiem also reflected on the ‘intense’ nature of the season since the tour resumed.
"It has been a very intense year," Thiem said. "Since tennis returned after the break, it has been a non-stop, and I have not stopped to reflect on what goals I propose for next year."
Dominic Thiem once again highlighted his desire to climb further up the rankings, all the way to the top spot. Currently ranked No. 3, the 27-year-old firmly believes that with his current form he will be able to give Novak Djokovic a run for his money next year.
The Austrian did add, however, that that won’t be an easy task considering the impending return of Roger Federer coupled with the fact that the Next Gen stars are breathing down his neck.
“Obviously, I would love to continue climbing positions in the ranking,” Thiem said. “I think that I am at the best moment of my professional career, and I think that if I maintain this level, I will have a lot of chances to fight for No. 1 in the world."
"It will not be an easy task," he added. "Rafa and Nole have been up there for a long time, Roger will return at the beginning of the year, and players like Medvedev, Zverev, Tsitsipas, or Rublev will also fight to try to climb positions."
The long-awaited generational replacement has already arrived: Dominic Thiem
During the press conference, Dominic Thiem was asked to name the best players of the year. The Austrian replied that his list would be similar to that of the rankings, with the only caveat being that Roger Federer, who missed almost the entirety of 2020 with injury, be replaced by Andrey Rublev.
"I think it would be very similar to the ranking. It is true that we have to remove Roger, who has not played almost anything this year. In his place, it could be Rublev, who has had a fantastic year winning many titles I think the ranking perfectly reflects which players have been better in 2020," Thiem said.
Dominic Thiem also believes that men's tennis is currently witnessing a change of guard, given how the young stars have been performing against the Big 3 in recent times. The defending US Open champion also reckons that the Next Gen is right at the doorstep in terms of winning Majors.
"The long-awaited generational replacement has already arrived," Thiem remarked. "The youngest is already showing that we can compete against the legends and even beat them. I believe that the Big 3 will continue to fight for the Grand Slams, but I suppose that when they retire, we will be the ones who will take that mantle. Although we are getting closer and closer, they will continue to be favorites in each tournament."