Despite the next generation of players making progress, 2018 saw the Big 3 sweep the four Grand Slams, and Dominic Thiem doesn’t really see an end to that trend.
“We said this for a couple of years now that this is the year it is going to change,” Thiem said in Doha. “So, I’m not sure if one of the younger guys win a Slam because obviously Novak, Rafa, Roger, they are still in a good shape.
“They are maybe the three best players of all time so it’s no surprise that they are dead good also in advanced age,” Thiem added. “That is why I’m expecting them also to play for the biggest titles in 2019. And it’s amazing to have these guys still around, not only in tennis, but I would say in all sports in general, they are amazing, they are superstars and I think, like, players like me, a bit younger, we can be happy to be able to still compete with them.
“But on the other hand, of course, we are trying to take the biggest titles away from them like I was pretty close last year in the French Open.”
Last year, the Austrian reached his first Grand Slam final, falling short to Rafael Nadal at the French. But he clearly has the desire to grab that first crown.
“This would be the next step and the last step to my ultimate childhood goal,” Thiem said. “I mean, this is why I started to play tennis, to win a Grand Slam, one day maybe, and I was very close last year. And it was tough to lose the match but at the same time also a big motivation to continue working to give myself hopefully one day another chance to play another Grand Slam final. And then put it in my own way, that’s my goal and that’s why I’m practicing every day.”
Thiem, who fell early in Abu Dhabi, began his 2019 ATP season on a down note losing to Pierre Hugues-Herbert 63, 75.
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