After the first set against Rafael Nadal the other day in Rome I remember Annabel Croft on Sky Sports saying he is a quick learner and he is but that transition from beating Nadal and preparing to face Djokovic should have been better.
I agree that Thiem is a quick learner but maybe can sometimes get stuck in the moment of success and not move on quick enough, the performance and game plan against Novak Djokovic was terrible but I will come onto that later…
Terrific Thiem 🙂
All pressure was on Nadal, this was their third meeting in about four weeks on the clay and with Nadal winning the first two you’d still consider this a free hit for the Austrian who hit freely and was superb, probably (definitely) the best performance from a top 20 player this season.
Nadal is the clay master and what makes him dangerous is that skill he produces being a defensive baseliner with time always on his side but Thiem took that time away from him and made big decisions time and time again and here is just two.
These shots some wouldn’t even think about trying but producing them is on another level and something that stands out here is Nadal’s position on the court he isn’t at the net because he constructed the point he was forced there.
The other aspect of the match would stood out was the positioning of Nadal. First of all there is a massive difference in being a defensive baseliner and being on the defensive. Majority of it comes down to momentum and a player has to think if things aren’t going my way going forward I have to go back to keep myself in the rally.
The position he is in isn’t by choice and I’ve also highlight the average court depth Thiem was getting through the power he was producing which forced Nadal
Terrible Thiem 😦
Now I move on to this match against Djokovic. I really don’t know where to begin. I expect Djokovic would have kept a close eye on the match between Thiem and Nadal and maybe even caught the highlights and if Novak were to come away from watching that with one word that word would have been power.
On the other hand you’d expect Thiem or a member of Thiem’s team to have watched Del Potro v Djokovic and the one word you’d take away from that was power again! Djokovic nullified the power that Del Potro is renouned for producing time and time again during the match but throwing the slice into the match so surely someone on Thiem’s coaching team would have said before the semi-final, these tactics might not work against Novak he just stopped Del Potro finding power so preparing differently surely would have been on the agenda?
I watched the match between Djokovic and Thiem and I was disappointed. 24 hours before I watched Thiem’s best foughtout performance of the year and then to be honest his worst.
Novak sat on that baseline and basically said, I’m not moving. I am one of the best defenders on the tour who produces stunning shots from difficult situations so come and have a go but it was just all the same and it didn’t change even after losing the first set 6-1 and then lost the second 6-0 and in 59 minutes is out.