Dominic Thiem, who is playing in Washington, D.C., this week, says that he and his friend, Alexander Zverev, are still far away from the level of the Big Four, but they are starting to be more competitive against them.
The 23-year-old Thiem has won eight titles, but he has not won a major or any of the ATP 1000s. The 20-year-old Zverev did win the ATP 1000 in Rome, upsetting Novak Djokovic in the final.
“I think we still have to win a lot of matches and win a lot of titles to deserve to be called like that, to be the next big things in tennis. For that, all the other players are still too dominant,” Thiem told The Washington Post. “It’s nice to hear that, but still I think that’s pretty far away. For both of us.”
This season, on clay, Thiem began to come up against the top guys more often and got a few wins. First, he upset world No. 1 Andy Murray in Barcelona and then lost against Rafael Nadal. In Madrid, he reached the final before he lost against Nadal once again. But he did then defeat the 15-time Grand Slam champion in the quarters in Rome. In the French Open, Thiem defeated Djokovic before losing once again against Nadal.
At Wimbledon, on grass, he lost in five sets against Tomas Berdych in the fourth round.
Thiem is ranked No. 7. He says that slowly, players like him are starting to play deep into the the bigger events, but they're not winning those tournaments yet.
“It’s really unusual that you have four players like this in one generation,” Thiem said. “But I think it’s getting better for the younger players since the past one or two years. There were some tournaments where we had a breakthrough against them—but to win a Grand Slam or a Masters 1000, you have to usually beat two Big Four guys in a row, which is a very tough thing to achieve, and that’s why so little of other players have won the big titles.”
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