For Dominic Thiem this season has been like a series of coach trip. The Austrian has travelled literally everywhere, I can’t remember when he had a week off from the tour. Now he arrives at his 28th tournament of the year looking to make a real impact so who better to be against than Novak Djokovic?
Djokovic and Thiem have met three times before with two of those meetings coming this year with the Serb winning all three and seeing off Thiem in Miami and their last meeting was at Roland Garros but a lot has changed since then for Novak.
Novak going into London is no longer world number one and has struggled in matches against Querrey, Agut, Cilic, Wawrinka and others. Last week in Paris was a chance to see what level he is at and he played ok but to a level we know he can reach he was quite off!
The issue for Dominic Thiem is that tiredness could play a factor. He has played a lot of tennis maybe too much but without playing that much he might not be in London, so it works both ways. What I like about Thiem is that he is a flashy player, he is quick on the baseline and can end a point quickly.
In Paris I saw him play against Jack Sock and I have to be honest I think it was the worst performance I have seen from him. I thought in the first three games he looked disinterested losing the first 10 points of the match and never found any momentum and failed to deal with the power of Sock and couldn’t impose his game onto the court.
The court at the O2 is massive and Thiem has to impose his game onto the court from the off otherwise if Novak finds his rhythm then Thiem will be running side to side all day long.
I do think Dominic does have a chance and it will require his best tennis to do this and what level will we see Djokovic at. He has to get out of the group but how tricky will it be? Wait and see…