Dominic Thiem is the No. 3 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings, with 16 ATP Tour titles and three Grand Slam final appearances to his name.
ATPTour.com looks at five things you should know about the 26-year-old.
1) He Is Closing The Gap On The Big Three
Since the start of the 2019 ATP Tour season, Thiem has won seven of his 10 matches against the Big Three of Novak Djokovic (2-2), Rafael Nadal (2-1) and Roger Federer (3-0). The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the greatest threats to the trio’s dominance of the sport, reaching one Grand Slam final in each of the past three ATP Tour seasons.
Thiem has inflicted several high-profile losses on the Big Three during this period. The Austrian snapped Djokovic’s 26-match unbeaten streak at Grand Slam events in last year’s Roland Garros semi-finals and also ended Nadal’s bid to equal Federer’s record Grand Slam trophy haul at the Australian Open in January. Thiem also defeated Federer in last year’s Indian Wells championship match.
On 2 March, Thiem overtook Federer to reach a career-high No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. He is the first man outside the Big Three to occupy a Top 3 position since Alexander Zverev on 5 May last year.
2) He Is One Of The Strongest Players On The ATP Tour
Thiem’s rise to No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Rankings has required years of preparation and hard work. The 16-time tour-level titlist, who posted a 15-3 record in deciding sets last year, has had to push himself to the limit off the court during training blocks.
“It’s amazing how he practises. All the time, 100 per cent, he’s very focussed all the time,” said Thiem’s coach, Nicolas Massu. “He tries to improve every day, so for me as a coach it’s amazing because he’s a guy who wants to win all the time.”
In preparation for his run to the 2020 Australian Open final, Thiem was joined by fitness coaches Dr. Michael Reinprecht and Duglas Cordero during his off-season training block. The pair constantly monitored Thiem’s heart rate to see how long it took him to recover from certain drills, and used a laser beam to measure the exact speed of some sprints.
“Dominic is an amazing player. He is working very, very hard. It is amazing the high intensity he puts in for every exercise,” said Cordero. “The preseason is very important because if you get a good preseason, it’s possible to, [when you] combine it with good tennis, [to] keep the performance all year.”
3) 2019 Was The Best Year Of His Career
In 2019, Thiem raised his game to new heights. The Austrian captured five titles last year, including his first ATP Masters 1000 crown at the BNP Paribas Open. In his first tournament alongside new coach Nicolas Massu, Thiem outlasted Milos Raonic and Federer to take the title in Indian Wells.
The 6’1” right-hander also won each of the nine matches he contested in Austria, capturing the first two home titles of his career at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna and the Generali Open in Kitzbühel. Thiem also lifted ATP 500 trophies in Barcelona and Beijing.
Alongside his five title runs, Thiem also advanced to his second straight Roland Garros final (l. to Nadal) and reached his first championship match at the Nitto ATP Finals in London (l. to Tsitsipas).
4) Football Is In His DNA
The 26-year-old loves football and is a keen supporter of English team, Chelsea FC. In 2015, Thiem visited the team’s home stadium, Stamford Bridge and, one year later, received 10 pairs of personalised shoes from the club at the 2016 Generali Open.
Thiem’s passion for the sport goes beyond Chelsea FC. He also enjoys playing football himself and founded his own club, 1. TFC Matzendorf. Ahead of the 2018 ATP Tour season, the Austrian travelled to Slovenia alongside countryman Dennis Novak to play for his club.
5) He Cares About The Environment
Thiem is conscious of the need to protect our environment. After stumbling across the work of 4Ocean, a business which has removed 8,691,089 pounds of plastic from the ocean since 2017, Thiem purchased one of their bracelets and began wearing it at tennis events.
4Ocean spotted Thiem wearing the bracelet at the Mutua Madrid Open and quickly got in contact. Thiem regularly shares the hashtag #4Ocean on social media and would like to join the organisation to personally remove plastic from the ocean one day.
“I really hope that I can attend one clean up and help,” said Thiem. “That would be a dream for me.”