Novak Djokovic v Dominic Thiem For The Australian Open Title, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | February 1st, 2020, 6:37 pm

While the women’s final was a total shock with Sofia Kenin stunning the tennis and sporting world winning the title, the men’s final at the Australian Open is very much chalk. Few would not have picked Novak Djokovic to return to the final and I don’t think Dominic Thiem is much of an outsider.

Thiem does his best work on the clay but has proven he can do damage on hard courts, doing well at Indian Wells last year and at the ATP Finals in London.

He had a slow start at the ATP Cup, and then had a tough second round 5-set match against Alex Bolt. Maybe the Thomas Muster coaching split has done him good, I don’t know, but he played really well beating Rafael Nadal then scraped by against Alexander Zverev. It wasn’t Thiem’s best performance in his win over Zverev, but in this sport you don’t get added points for how you look, it’s the wins or losses that matter.

Thiem’s also has won four of his last five matches against Djokovic, though the Serb leads 6-4 overall. So heading into the final Sunday night in Melbourne he has to be feeling pretty good about he chances and where his game is at right now.

The problem is, he’s coming off two rugged matches against Nadal and Zverev and he’s had one fewer day of recoery than Djokovic. And this is Novak’s home court. He’s 7-0 in the Australian Open final, he’s extremely well rested (only lost 1 set), has the motivation of closing that gap with Federer and the No. 1 ranking that comes with it. There’s a lot of history at stake here.

He’s also lost his last two matches to Thiem in Grand Slam play at the French and that thriller at the Finals, so perhaps he’ll have something a little extra?

In this matchup, the biggest shot on the court is the Thiem forehand. So Dominic will try to dictate off that wing. But Thiem’s problem on a slower hard court is his deep court positioning and serve/return of serve. So if Djokovic serves well or if Novak gets a lot of looks at the Thiem second serve, that will spell trouble for Austrian.

Nerves are also going to be a factor. Thiem admitted he was in knots early on against Zverev, so it wouldn’t be much of leap to think he’ll be dealing with something similar Sunday. But he’s been in two prior Slam finals and a hardcourt Masters title match, so this isn’t totally new.

I think Thiem puts up a really good fight, pushes Djokovic hard but Djokovic is the fresher, more experienced guy and he’s won this title too many times. I’ll give it to the Serb here in a very, very tight one…
The Pick: Djokovic in 5

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9 Comments for Novak Djokovic v Dominic Thiem For The Australian Open Title, Who’s The Pick?

Andy Mira Says:

I think this is the 1st time Novak go to the final & not facing the old gen whom he clearly has a mental adv over them(xcept maybe against Tsonga in his 1st slam 2008)…i would say this is new territory for him…

Thiem came from next gen who is not afraid of him at all…super confident & knew he has the weapon to hurt Nole…knew he has mental adv over him too…no stranger in final & big moments…will swing freely bcoz of his underdog status(just look what he’s done to Rafa!urgh!!)…it’s hard for me to pick coz it’s very much depend to how he will handle his nerves & make use of the chances given…and as much as i want him to win(God knows he’s very much deserve the win,..but i think i will go with Novak bcoz of his experience & 7 times winner here…so Novak in 4 or 5 hard fought win…but for team Thiem’s sake!…Go Thiem!!…hehehe

It’s going to be an AMAZING MATCH!!…Woohoo!!…Bring it on guys!

Andy Mira Says:

Ohh 1 more thing….Sean doubt about Thiem’s fitness due to his time on court & 1 day less rest compared to Novak?I’mmm…not sure bout that Sean!…

Remember Rafa in 2009?He fought with Verdasco in semis for 5 hrs 15 minutes i think…had only 1 day recovery..and Roger got 2 days rest,play time also less hours than Rafa..and we know who’s the winner…

Thiem is one of the fittest player on tour…i think he can match Novak stamina today…maybe can outlasted him bcoz of his 6 years age different…let’s see!

Wog Boy Says:

55% – 45% Thiem favourite to win in my books.

Czarlazar Says:

Nole is winning 82% of first serve points (thanks Goran), has never lost in a semi or final at RL Arena, has spent four hours less on court than the Austrian thus far and leads Thiem 3-1 on hard courts — even though many focus on Thiem claiming four of the last five matches overall. Thiem is a nice little player and has a great future, but let’s give reality its due. Novak in 3, for his 17th Slam, on the road to 20 ++.

chofer Says:

Well, I already jinxed Barty, Halep and Muguruza.

I picked Novak who will surely survive my evil superpowers, won’t he? Won’t he???

chofer Says:

I’m wide awake waitung for the match. All night long.

I hope it delivers, otherwise I’ll have nightmares afterwards.

Michael Says:

Novak definitely has the edge: mental,physical and above all experience, and this towers him above Theim. This is also his favourite hunting ground where he has never lost in a final seven times he played and that again will shore up his confidence. His hard court edge against Theim also will come handy, although Theim has won the last two times they played and there were pretty close matches which could have gone either way. Theim also has lost every grandslam final that he has played and that demon of failures will be lurking around him adversely reflecting on his psyche. This is also a very big occasion and poor Theim will find it very hard to maintain his equipoise and emotions. So, on a balance weighing all the pros and cons, Novak is hugely favoured to win and I fancy the finishing act would be done in four sets. But Theim can make it a gruelling contest if he can play at his best level. For me, he is a tougher opponent to Novak than say Roger or Rafa who have succumbed to Novak’s domination.

chofer Says:

<there's a new thread for commenting live.

Wog Boy Says:

Congratulations Thiem on your first HS, good job, you are the man, well deserved.

I do expect to see some apologies here when I wake up tomorrow morning, I don’t know if some people were blind to see how much Thiem improved in a space of 12 months and for everyone with common sense and knowledge Thiem was favourite, bit whatever.

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