Dominic Thiem has greatly strengthened his position amongst the sport’s upper echelons with his recent achievements and performances on the court. Thiem has backed up his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open with an even more impressive run at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he has scored wins over both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The Austrian is now just one step away from lifting his maiden year-ending championship title, and he will take on Daniil Medvedev for the crown on Sunday. But despite his rapid ascent over the last couple of years, Thiem doesn't think he has won nearly enough to be held in similar regard as the Big 3 of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
During the press conference after his win over Djokovic on Saturday, Dominic Thiem was asked if he saw himself as part of a ‘Fab 4’ of tennis, along with the trio of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. Thiem dismissed the idea, and pointed out that his trophy count pales significantly in comparison with that of the ‘Big 3’.
“No of course not (a part of a ‘fab 4’). I mean if you compare especially the big titles I’m so far away,” Thiem said. “I have one Slam, one Masters 1000 and that’s it (laughs). It's a little bit less than the other three players.”
Dominic Thiem did mention, however, that he relishes the chance of facing the legendary trio. He also expressed his gratitude that Federer, Nadal and Djokovic were still playing, giving younger players such as himself multiple chances to lock horns with them.
“But I love to play against them," Thiem asserted. "As I said it's such a huge thing, every single match against them. We younger players can feel super happy that the three legends are still even around and we can compete with them and every match against them is a great opportunity."
Dominic Thiem’s journey so far at the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals
Dominic Thiem began his campaign in London with a win over defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. He followed that up with a flawless performance over Rafael Nadal, in what many believe was the best match of the year.
The Austrian did fall to Andrey Rublev in his last round-robin game, but by that time he had already secured his spot in the semis as the topper of the group.
On Saturday, Dominic Thiem locked horns with Novak Djokovic for the second time this year. The 27-year-old managed to hold off Djokovic in the end, but not before the World No. 1 put up a colossal fight.
Thiem needed close to three hours and six match points before he could finally heave a sigh of relief.
However, the task is far from over for Thiem. He will now be looking to pull off another great victory in 2020 - this time over Daniil Medvedev - to seal his first-ever ATP Finals title.Published 22 Nov 2020, 16:56 IST