The absence of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer coupled with the unexpected disqualification of Novak Djokovic opens the opportunity for a new Grand Slam winner. After Dominic Thiem endured a straight-set duel against Felix Auger Aliassime, 7-6, 6-1, 6-1, the 27-year-old poses as a possible winner in this year’s major.
The last time a Grand Slam winner was crowned outside the big three of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer was back in 2016. The most recent straight-set victory of Thiem served as an indication of what he can do on the court. The manner of how he dictated the pace against Auger Aliassime proved that he’s ready to take his game to the next level.
“The first set was very important for sure,” Thiem told ESPN after the match by way of The Guardian.
The win was no fluke for Thiem as Auger Aliassime has proven to be one of the best rising stars on tour. With excellent groundstrokes, quick feet and explosive athleticism, the 20-year-old surely is one of the bigger stars to look out for in the future.
“I was really nervous before the match I have to say. I knew I was going to play against an amazing opponent,” Thiem continued.
This impressive win shows how far Thiem has been in his career and how he’s ready to take it to the next level. Given that Thiem took Djokovic to a five-set thriller in this year’s Australian Open, the Austrian star is looking to secure his spot in history by attaining his first Grand Slam.
The two had an epic matchup that showed a glimpse of Thiem’s championship material. With Djokovic out of the competition, it appears that Thiem is in a strong position to rally for a title run.
“You were very close to winning it and you definitely have a lot more time in your career and I am sure you will get one of the Grand Slam trophies, more than one,” Djokovic said earlier this year after his matchup against Thiem.
Despite this, it still won’t be a walk in the park for Thiem as one player he has to look out for in the upcoming rounds is last year’s runner-up Daniil Medvedev. The unorthodox method of Medvedev is perceived to be his advantage and may serve as a difficult opponent.
While the big three of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic gone in this year’s US Open, it will be a glimpse of the future in this year’s tournament.