Thiem predicts new Grand Slam champion will be crowned in 2020

andrewhendrie in Uncategorized 18 Nov 2019
Dominic Thiem after falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals (PA Images)
Dominic Thiem is predicting a new Grand Slam champion in 2020 after finishing runner-up to 21-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals in London.
Thiem and Tsitsipas played out a thrilling title match at the season-ending championships on Sunday night, with the Greek emerging triumphant in a deciding set tiebreak to become the youngest ATP Finals champions since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem hug after the ATP Finals title match (PA Images)

With Thiem scoring marquee wins over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, along with Tsitsipas also registering a victory over six-time champion Federer, the younger generation made a big impact at the season finale.
Throw in the likes of Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Matteo Berrettini, and five of the current top eight is made up of players aged 26 and under.
Zverev predicted that a new Grand Slam champion would be crowned in 2020 after losing in the semi-finals to Thiem, and the Austrian echoed those sentiments in his post-match press conference on Sunday.

“I think that for sure we can do it next year,” Thiem said. “We are all playing great tennis. Sascha, Stefanos, me, some other guys. I’m pretty sure that we’re going to see a new and young Grand Slam champion next year.”

Thiem has made considerable strides on tour in 2019. The Austrian was always a fearsome clay-court figure and arguably the second-best behind Nadal over the last few years, but Thiem has improved his hardcourt play significantly, winning a maiden Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells before winning 16 of his last 20 matches on the surface after the U.S. Open.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (right) celebrates with the trophy after victory against Dominic Thiem (left) (PA Images)

The 26-year-old picked up titles in Beijing and Vienna and won three matches against top 10 players this week in London on one of the fastest indoor hardcourts in the world.

”Since the US Open, I’m super happy [with] how my game developed. Indian Wells, honestly, it’s a very slow hard court. It suits my game because it’s almost like a clay court,” Thiem said. “But here or in Vienna, Beijing, Shanghai, where I played really great tennis, they were surfaces where I was struggling big time in the past.

”Especially playing here in the final of [London] is an amazing result for me. Even though it’s a big and tough loss today, I still have in my head that I developed my game very good since a few months [ago].”

Thiem’s form this week was made all the more remarkable after he revealed that he was dealing with illness at the start of the week, casting his participation at the ATP Finals in doubt.

“I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling like crap and thinking about the worst stuff because I was feeling really sick. And then on Tuesday [night], I played this legendary match against Novak Djokovic and I got way better again with my body,” Thiem said. 

“That’s a big thing I’m taking away. Even in very tough situations, I can still play great tennis. It’s an amazing result for me, indoors, one of the fastest hard courts all year. I’m taking away a lot.”