Between 2017 and 2020, only one player has managed to break the dominance of the “Big Three” in world tennis. With his victory at the US Open this year, Dominic Thiem ended a patient wait for the first major Grand Slam tournament triumph of his exciting career, signalling that he could be the man to watch over the next few years.
For more than a decade now, three names have shown their majesty as kings of the court. No other players in tennis history have achieved as many Grand Slam titles as Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Tennis fans have been blessed to have this trio of remarkably talented players around, rarely letting any others get a whiff of success at the biggest tournaments.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 14, 2020
Heading into 2021, it will certainly be worth following the latest tennis betting news and tournament odds for Thiem, if only to see how bookmakers feel about his chances compared with Djokovic and Nadal. That’s without forgetting that Federer still hasn’t retired, with the 39-year-old Swiss tennis legend indicating he’ll return to action next year, following a surgical procedure on his right knee.
Insofar as beating the greatest tennis player of all time, Thiem has done just that in recent years, defeating Federer in five of their seven encounters. As for his record against Nadal, that too is quite impressive with five-match victories to nine defeats. Likewise, Thiem has also proven a thorn in the side of Djokovic, with four wins to seven versus the Croatian.
Pretty much a permanent fixture amongst the top five tennis players in the world, Thiem is on track to conclude 2020 by finishing third in the overall ATP Tour men’s tennis rankings, just behind Djokovic and Nadal, while considerably ahead of Federer on points. All four will certainly be amongst the leading challengers for Grand Slam titles in 2021.
Having never pushed ahead of third position in those ATP rankings, that will undoubtedly be the next ambition for Thiem. Having already elevated himself above Federer, the challenge will now be pushing into the top two, where Djokovic and Nadal have held sway for so long. Likewise, beating them at the Grand Slam tournaments in 2021 will also be a keen objective, should he cross paths with them.
Earlier this year, Thiem beat Nadal over four gruelling sets in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Australian Open, then progressed all the way to the final for a thrilling five-set encounter with Djokovic. The game itself could have gone either way, with Thiem leading 2 sets to 1 at one point in the match, before Djokovic mounted a spectacular comeback, landing the 8th Australian Open title of his career.
Having proven he’s capable of taking them on, and winning from time to time, Thiem has become a genuine challenger to the “Big Three” and their dominance of tennis. Maybe 2021 will be the year Thiem will begin to truly stake his claim as the new king of world tennis.
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