Thiem in London for the fourth time
For the fourth time OTV star Dominic Thiem is in the season finale of the best eight tennis players in the world in London.
The days when the Lower Austrians froze in awe of names like Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic are long gone. "I've been in the 'Radl' for three or four years, and I enjoy it the way it is. It has become a good habit, "said Thiem. But it is still the "big three", the Grand Slam titles split almost exclusively among themselves.
Thiem has already been twice, at the French Open in 2018 and 2019, in the final, each time Nadal was still too strong. Nevertheless, the change of the guard will come. "You do not have to worry about tennis. The players who follow are all very attractive. Completely different. Of course, we should at some point begin to celebrate even great success, "said Thiem.
Vienna victory brings self-confidence
Three hard court titles in Indian Wells, Beijing and, most recently, in the hall in Vienna have given Austria's number one additional self-confidence that the big success could come in London. "Especially Vienna helps a lot because it was by far the best indoor tournament I have ever played. That's why I come here with great confidence, that's for sure. "And he'll need that from his first match against 20-time Major winner Roger Federer.
"I just watched training again for a while: it's amazing what he does with the ball. How simple and how noble everything looks, "said Thiem. "Every game against him is something very special, it's always nice to play against the absolute legends." Nevertheless, he does not want to stare in awe. Does not he have to be in a 4-2 balance against the Swiss. "I've done a lot of good things twice for him this year," recalled Thiem of his victories in the Indian Wells finals and Madrid quarter-finals. "I'll see that I'll do it this way again." Nevertheless, Federer is very good at the fast track in the shed.
All sorts of records have Federer to book. "If you look at his whole career, then that's a completely different kind of dimension," Thiem admitted, so you have to win against him, but also against Nadal or his Serbian group opponent Novak Djokovic, "more than a tennis match". "You have to defeat the legend for a while. I've done it a few times in the past. "
Not a single easy group opponent
If he wants to achieve his goal of reaching the semi-final for the first time, then one of the two big players must be eliminated from his group "BjOrn Borg" alone. Only the top duo qualifies, alongside Federer and Djokovic is still the Italian Matteo Berrettini group opponent Thiem.
Thiem does not want to speculate on who gets left behind by the two "big guys" in his group. "It does not make a big difference. Of course, Djokovic is probably still the most consistent of the three. That's why it may be the hardest against him, "said Thiem. But immediately he made an effort to pay tribute to Federer as well. "He also won the tournament in a confident manner in Basel, and the surface here is predestined for his game. Berrettini is not falling that much either. "
Federer starts "hungry" in his 17th edition
Federer is in the season finale for the 17th time – and still a promising candidate at the age of 38. With six titles, he is also a record holder, Djokovic could catch him with a triumph. Federer traveled to London as the ten-time winner of Basel. The tournament in Paris-Bercy he left to give his body a break. He had no physical problems, he announced before the tournament began, and felt "totally motivated and hungry".
Eight years ago, Federer got his last title at the "Masters", after which he lost three times in the final (2012, 2014 without a fight and 2015) against Djokovic. The duel against the Serbs will be in the group this time, depending on the performance on Sunday, the big hit will rise either on Tuesday or Thursday. It will also be the revenge for the Wimbledon final lost by Federer. At first, however, Federer concentrates on the duel with Thiem. "He's number five, had a wonderful year and beaten me twice," warned the world ranking third.
In the group "Andre Agassi" it does not start until Monday: The Russian climber and secret favorite Daniil Medvedev first plays in the duel of two other debutants against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, then is eagerly awaited, if Nadal even enters. If the last injured 19-time Major winner fit, he meets the German defending champion Alexander Zverev.
ATP World Tour Finals in London
(United Kingdom, $ 9,000,000, hard court, hall)