26 year old Dominic Thiem has finally arrived on the world tennis stage. Having defeated Alexander Zverev in the 2020 Australian Open semifinals, employing his usual barrage of blistering drives smacked relentlessly into every corner, as well as great defensive skills, guile, boldness, and purpose, he now faces a formidable task: conquering 16-time major champion Novak Djokovic in the finals. However: the Austrian has gotten the better of the Serbian in four of their last five meetings, including two at Roland Garros, and one at the World Tour finals.
Dominic Thiem produced utterly brilliant tennis when it mattered most to edge the great Rafael Nadal at the 2020 Australian Open. This match featured unreal shotmaking, fierce competitive spirit, and admirable boldness/aggression from both players. Titanic exchanges were the norm, and each man was hitting rockets. Also noteworthy: Nadal’s extreme graciousness in defeat, giving Thiem full credit. The Austrian, too, was humble and thoughtful in victory; obviously, a great deal of mutual respect was present.
Thiem, who not only punished the ball relentlessly, but also showed outstanding defensive skills, deserved this massive win, ousting the immortal Rafa by the slimmest of margins, with seemingly endless blistering drives to both corners, and great heart.
Make no mistake: at age 38, Federer, the greatest shotmaker, and arguably the greatest period, in the annals of tennis history, remains very much a threat to capture the Australian Open 2020 title. His game is still impeccable, and his ceiling is still higher than that of any other living player.
Note: for more on this great man, see earlier post on this site here.