Dominic Thiem: I really think we’ll see a new Grand Slam champion

Dominic Thiem (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Dominic Thiem (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

He has twice been a runner-up at the French Open and Dominic Thiem has become the latest star to predict the Big Three’s Grand Slam run will end this year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has said it is his 2020 target and now Dominic Thiem has expressed his strong confidence that it will happen.

They are referring to the end of the Big Three’s dominance of the four Grand Slams, which have all been won by Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the last three years.

Stan Wawrinka was the last man to win a major outside of the established trio at the 2016 US Open, a stat any player not named Djokovic, Nadal and Federer must be tired of hearing by now.

The Big Three themselves have conceded their streak is sure to end at some point soon.

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As Tsitsipas impressed in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year and declared a top-three ranking was his goal, Djokovic acknowledged the chasing back was getting closer all the time and Nadal recently predicted at least one of the Slams would go to the pursuing group of players this year.

Thiem, speaking ahead of leading Austria at the ATP Cup, has now spoken in his most confident fashion yet about his belief tennis fans will see a new major winner in 2020.

“I think the last stage we have to conquer is the Grand Slam stage, and I really think we’ll see a new Grand Slam champion in 2020,” Dominic Thiem told reporters in Sydney.

The 26-year-old, twice a runner-up at Roland Garros after losing finals to Nadal, feels the next generation of male players have already been knocking on the door.

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In addition to Thiem’s exploits in Paris, Alexander Zverev and Tsitsipas have been ATP Finals winners, while Daniil Medvedev pushed Nadal all the way in the US Open final.

Thiem insisted the chasing pack, which Nadal thinks will be joined by Denis Shapovalov and Jannik Sinner in 2020, are doing all they can to chase down the three players who have 55 majors between them.

“I think we challenged them already a lot,” Dominic Thiem added, per AFP. “We also beat them especially on Masters 1000 stages and the ATP Finals.

“I really hope that it [the new Grand Slam champion] is me, but you cannot guarantee anything.

“There are also many other very strong guys who can achieve that. Maybe it’s also not happening and Big Three are taking all four, but we are trying everything to achieve top position, to achieve the biggest titles, Grand Slam titles.”

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Thiem added he was happy at how he had finished the 2019 season, recovering from first-round exits at Wimbledon and the US Open.

He lost to Tsitsipas in the ATP Finals but only after reaching the final having gained impressive wins over Djokovic, Federer and Zverev in London.

Thiem finished the year with five ATP Tour titles and sits at number four in the world rankings, the closest player to Nadal, Djokovic and Federer.

While he has a tough task to pull Austria through at the ATP Cup, he looks poised to enter the Australian Open later this month with plenty of momentum.

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Dominic Thiem is yet to make it past the fourth round in Melbourne, but he hopes 2020 is the year that record, along with the one held by the Big Three in majors, changes for the better.