Lindsay Davenport recently spoke at length about Dominic Thiem’s key goals for the 2021 season. Davenport claimed that Thiem has taken a big step forward by winning a Major, and that now his focus should shift to defeating one of the 'Big 3' in a Slam final - which she believes he is good enough to do.
Davenport also reckons that Thiem will end 2021 with the most wins on the ATP tour.
Like Dominic Thiem, Lindsay Davenport is a US Open champion herself - in both singles (1998) and doubles (1997). She has also been World No. 1, something that Thiem considers an important goal for his own career.
But during a recent discussion on Tennis Channel, Davenport asserted that Dominic Thiem first needs to prove himself against Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer at the business end of Slams.
"I think pretty big, that’s really his next step," Davenport said. "First of all he has won the US Open, that’s amazing. You can see what a difference it was. That’s interesting to see Thiem take the next step and be able to beat one of those guys (Djokovic, Nadal and Federer) in the final in the big moment. It’s going to happen, he's so good. Gotta think that winning the US Open took a lot of pressure off him as well. But truly that is the next step, beating, one of those guys in a Slam final."
Dominic Thiem has played Novak Djokovic four times in Grand Slams, winning two of those encounters (2017 and 2019 French Open). Against Rafael Nadal, Thiem has managed just a single win out of six attempts at a Major (2020 Australian Open).
All combined, the 27-year-old has lost three Major finals against Nadal and Djokovic. The Austrian has also suffered two further defeats to the duo at the semifinal stage.
Thiem is, however, yet to play Roger Federer in a Grand Slam.
When asked to pick the player she thinks will end up with the most ATP tour wins in 2021, Lindsay Davenport threw her weight behind Dominic Thiem. The three-time Slam champion debated for a while between Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas, but ultimately went with the former.
"I was toggling between Tsitsipas and Thiem," Davenport said. "I don't think that the very top players are gonna play that often because of some of the restrictions. I’ll go Thiem."
Dominic Thiem is very fortunate to have his father: Lindsay Davenport
During the talk show, Lindsay Davenport also explained why Dominic Thiem was right to part ways with long-time coach Gunter Bresnik.
"Dominic Thiem had been with Gunter Bresnik for so long," Davenport said. "Even if the coaches are sometimes saying the same things, sometimes the relationships just get a little bit stale."
Davenport believes Thiem is ‘very fortunate’ to have the constant support of his father, Wolfgang. The American also reckons that Wolfgang played a key role in helping Nicolas Massu understand his son better.
"Dominic is also very fortunate to have his father who is also a coach and he has always been there, he helped a lot with the transition to Nicolas Massu," Davenport added. "Kinda letting Massu know 'this is what my son is like' and I think players sometimes, they like to hear certain messages from former players."Published 11 Jan 2021, 17:18 IST