US Open 2020 champion Dominic Thiem feels Carlos Alcaraz has already had «a unique career» and the rest have to «catch up». Alcaraz, 19, became a Grand Slam champion after beating Casper Ruud in this year’s US Open final.
By beating Ruud in the final, Alcaraz also surpassed Daniil Medvedev at No. 1 and became the highest-ranked youngest male player in tennis history. “He already has a unique career. He is the youngest number one in history and a US Open winner in his teens, exceptional.
He is about to change tennis, because in New York, no matter how long the matches were, he was there all the time, playing attack, going to the net and contesting every point without fear. And I think this is new. Nobody did that before.
We must catch up,» Thiem told AS.
Thiem taking inspiration from Rafael Nadal
Nadal, who was limited to a single tournament in the second part of the 2021 season, made a comeback this year by winning back-to-back titles at the Australian Open and French Open.
Thiem, who returned to tennis at the end of March after a 10-month absence, is still hoping to rediscover his best tennis and become a strong force in the game again. «The [Rafael Nadal] is probably the best role model for this experience.
He did it not just once but four or five times to come back from a long injury of six months or even more. And the form was always amazing. So he’s a big inspiration,» Thiem said. Thiem is a four-time Grand Slam finalist and has a Major title.
The 29-year-old Thiem says he is still playing because he feels he can be a Grand Slam contender again. “I have the belief that I can win a Grand Slam again. If not, I would give up my career. I had bad times but I would have the feeling that I am getting closer to my best version, “added Thiem.
This week, Thiem plays at the Girona Open, where he has reached the quarterfinals and plays alongside Francisco Cerundolo.