As a fan, it might be hard to swallow, but the best stretch of professional men’s tennis ever – the era of the big 4 – is slipping away. Evidence: through two Grand Slams in the professional tennis calendar, the man with the most wins is not named Nadal, Novak, Andy or Roger.
While Novak’s rise above the other three is clear, he is not the only story line emerging from this time of transition; his name is Dominic Thiem, and it’s time you got to know him.
Thiem, a 22-year-old Austrian, has the most victories on tour this year, while earning his 4th title earlier this week in Stuttgart at the Mercedes Cup. While his rise to the top 10 in the rankings has appeared meteoric, he’s been at the top of the game since juniors.
Thiem’s parents are both tennis coaches, who started him in tennis at 6 years old. He ultimately reached No. 2 in the ITF junior rankings in 2011, finishing his junior career with three straight titles including the prestigious Orange Bowl. After claiming his first pro title in 2014 and reaching the 4th round of the US Open, he logged three ATP crowns in last year.
On top of the most wins so far in 2016, Thiem has already earned a title on hardcourt, clay and grass – an accomplishment only earned by 9 players since 2003. The versatility of his game is highlighted by his throwback one-handed backhand which he can hit with astounding power from anywhere on the court.
And, to top it off, Thiem is wonderful on social media. He posts genuine and honest reactions to all of his matches on his Facebook, so give his page a like and follow his progress as we approach Wimbledon.
As always, check back here for updates on all things tennis.