Reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem gave his verdict on the current event at the Flushing Meadows. While he considers Novak Djokovic as the firm favourite for the title, he also feels that Daniil Medvedev can be his only challenger.
The Austrian believes that Medvedev will be a tougher opponent for the Serb than Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. However, the Russian sensation is a second seed so he will only face Djokovic if both the players qualify for the finals. That is where the problem lies as Medvedev’s form in the finals of Grand Slams is pretty poor. He lost the Australian Open finals earlier this year where he was handed a thrashing by Djokovic.
However, Thiem believes that despite all odds Medvedev has everything in him to trump the Serb in a final at the US Open.
“It is super different – super interesting to watch but very very tough to play,” Dominic Thiem said while speaking on Tennis Channel. “Because he doesn’t miss and, great serve.. great return. He’s really tall, but moves so well for such a big player. So he has no weakness, (and) that makes him very difficult. And also he’s super fit. That makes him, in my opinion, maybe the biggest challenge to Novak.”
Zverev defeated Djokovic at the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics, therefore ending his dream of a Calendar Golden Slam. Hence a lot of people feel that the German can pull this off again at the US Open. Others believe that Stefanos Tsitsipas will be the player to defeat Djokovic. The Greek star has come close in giving tough fights against the current World No.1 but beating him will be a daunting task. However, Thiem feels that Medvedev is way ahead of these two in the pecking order. He feels that the Russian’s experience of playing at the big stage will come in handy if he manages to set up a finale with Djokovic.
“He has that slight advantage to Stefanos and Sascha that he has already played two Slam finals,” Thiem said. “And I think each Slam final, if you lose it’s a bad experience. But still if you participate in it, a huge experience for the following ones.”