Dominic Thiem’s US Open victory at Flushing Meadows makes him an even more dangerous threat to the French Open title, according to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
The Belgian star captured the title in New York after coming back from two sets down to defeat Alexander Zverev as the 27-year-old claimed his first-ever Grand Slam title.
Having broken his Grand Slam duck, Thiem is now expected to go on to bigger and better things in the game, with the sport’s current top player predicting another strong performance from the Belgian at the next Grand Slam, the French Open.
“Dominic deserves this title probably more than anybody,” said 17-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic, who defeated Thiem in the final of the first Grand Slam of 2020, the Australian Open.
“He’s such a nice guy, and he works extremely hard. He was so close in the past couple of years and finally he has it.
“It would be interesting to see how his career goes on from here, but it’s a huge relief.”
Djokovic said that his first Grand Slam title was the toughest to win, and that once he had his first title under his belt, it gave him the confidence and belief to challenge consistently in the sport’s biggest tournaments.
“I remember my first Grand Slam title, obviously getting that first monkey out of your back, in a way, to say it’s a huge relief,” he recalled.
“After that, you start believing in yourself much more and feeling maybe a bit less pressure and expectations from yourself to win Slams.
“Both of these guys possess a huge tennis quality on all surfaces to win titles and Grand Slams. We have Roland Garros coming in a couple weeks’ time, and Dominic is right behind Rafa, on clay [as] the favorite to go all the way.”