Dominic Thiem is currently ranked No. 3 in the world, but he achieved his life-long dream in 2020 by breaking through to win his first Grand Slam title at the US Open. And Thiem would be happy with more of the same; the Austrian recently revealed that success at the Slams is a bigger priority for him than climbing up to the top spot in the ATP rankings.
Dominic Thiem also finished as the runner-up at the Australian Open and the ATP Finals this year. That, coupled with his positive record against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic over the past two seasons, has made many believe Thiem can challenge the Big 3 for the Majors and the No. 1 ranking in 2021.
But the 27-year-old is clear about what holds greater importance for him.
"The Grand Slams are my top priority," Thiem said. "If I don't win a Grand Slam or play a final there, I might not be satisfied. But if I'm number four and win one and maybe not playing so well the rest of the year, I would be happier."
Thiem added that he does hope to become No. 1 in the world some day, but that if given a choice he would rather win another Slam.
"As was the case in 2020 and most of the time in 2019, to become No. 1 in the world sport of tennis is, of course, also an incentive," Thiem continued. "The desire is there, when I'm No. 3, I also want to be No. 1. It is now not as great as the desire for a Grand Slam title was or is now still of a second. But of course it would be incredibly beautiful. But it wouldn't hurt so much if I didn't reach the goal, as if I had never won a Grand Slam title."
Possible that next year all 4 Slams will be won by the Big 3, especially Djokovic and Nadal: Dominic Thiem
According to Dominic Thiem, him winning his first Major title has helped other players believe they can also get over the Grand Slam hump. But while the Austrian thinks it is likely that the Slams will see new winners in 2021, he wouldn't be surprised if the Big 3 continued their dominance at the Majors next year.
"It could be that next year all four Grand Slams will be won by the Big 3, especially Djokovic and Nadal," Thiem said. "Nevertheless, the chance is greater that there will be more winning faces again. My title was perhaps so important because the others saw that it is possible. "
Dominic Thiem is currently in Austria for his off-season training, and he will leave for Melbourne in mid-January. The World No. 3 will play the ATP Cup in the first week of February followed by the Australian Open, which begins on 8 February.Published 22 Dec 2020, 21:00 IST