Dominic Thiem has named Stan Wawrinka as the man he hopes to emulate as he refocuses his goals after becoming a Grand Slam winner.
Thiem is in a bit of a unique place in men’s tennis right now given he is too told to be considered ‘next gen’ yet has also not been able to reach the level of consistency required to join Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as the top players in the world.
He, though, hopes he can achieve similar things to Swiss ace Wawrinka, who peaked comparatively late yet collected three Grand Slam titles and was generally a match for anyone in the world on his day.
“[Wawrinka] had five amazing years where he was playing well in all the big tournaments, winning majors,” Thiem said.
“And that’s my goal, that I can use the huge boost that the US Open gave [me].”
Thiem is already a third to the way of matching Wawrinka’s Grand Slam haul, winning the 2020 US Open.
It was a tournament played mostly without the Big Three, with Roger Federer injured, Rafael Nadal skipping it, and Novak Djokovic defaulted.
However, it certainly wasn’t without its challenges, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were used to the packed stadium and then all of a sudden we lived the bubble life, we played in front of the empty stadium, especially in New York, it’s pretty tough,” Thiem said.
“I think everybody else declared me to be the favourite but me,” Thiem said.
“I knew how good Sascha (Alexander Zverev) is and how difficult it is to play against him. The pressure was huge. I really thought this might be my final chance.”
Aside from his US Open title, Thiem has played in three other Grand Slam finals, losing them all.
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