As we have said numerous times: we Beliem in Thiem, which means we can’t get enough of his tennis, of his humble and humbling genius, of his fight; and the appreciation of this tennis savant only grows with the small developments we’re seeing in his game along with runs like this at the 2018 U.S. Open.
In tonight’s QF epic v Nadal, we got a lot of the original, the BL monster who for much of the match kept the Spaniard at bay with the steady lumber from both sides, quite often threatening to hit the #1 in the world off the court. Really one of the better matches I’ve seen, truly a high level tennis with all kinds of narrative and championship panache.
In the end, however, this is an unmitigated disaster for Thiem. There’s really no two ways of looking at this. Rafa even said as much after the match; he felt deeply sorry for the Austrian. This is potentially tragic for Dominic and his camp. He was the better tennis player and played the better tennis throughout most of the match.
Don’t think of this as some kind of odd-ball take from Mcshow.
This is classic Rafa; he often wins these matches, out committing, out believing, and out grinding and grinding-out his opponent.
Tennis needed a younger talent like Thiem to win a match of this size. He really should have served-out the second set and perhaps finished even earlier, the victor. But this is Rafa ball, a giant bundle of tense, exhausting and cataclysmic failing, usually from his opponent.
There are no moral victories here. In fact, if your name is not Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, these opportunities are space-alien-sighting rare. This is career defining stuff. Go ask the handfuls of talented players who have absolutely nothing to show for their valiant efforts in this sport during this era.
Thiem will have more opportunities? We hope so too.
But we all know that players like Thiem have to win these kinds of matches.
Thiem needed this match a lot more than Nadal did.
Another one bites the dust. Watching all manners of youth and/or other surging athletes fall at the feet of the Big 3 over the last 5-6 years, especially tonight, is getting as enjoyable as an old anal fissure. As much as we will continue to appreciate and champion this Austrian’s tennis, this is a very sad moment for Thiem.
Makes the memory of one of the better matches I’ve seen in recent years stink.
Good luck to Thiem in his recovery, seriously.
What a talent — what a truly special tennis talent, who got turned away like the rest.
Nadal probably beats Del Potro. Why wouldn’t he?
7 thoughts on “Nadal Punks Thiem in USO QF”
Only one aspect, you may not be aware of. Maybe you will have an opportunity soon, because the official English translation of Bresnik’s book is going to be published shortly. Without the fundamental knowledge about who is Thiem and what is he made of, you have no chance to understand. This man has really no aggression. And will not have it. Or only in the way, Bresnik found out emerging in him about 2016. Just like this ” Thiem found his own kind of aggression – to play his skills out.” For Thiem to win such matches like yesterday means he must improve more (many with skills he has right now, would defeat Rafa in straights). For instance: covering the court, mor stability in defense, better feeling and touch with volleying. But he will think about things like these first after he has improved all his offensive tools. Probably the only one offensive tool, he really needs and can improve, is a volley.
I think, Rafa was not sorry about chances Thiem missed but it was the expression of his respect, something like “hell, the match was so close and I needed to work so hard, but … only one can win. Similar outing from Thiem – it’s brutal, there are no draws in tennis. It could have gone either way.
Let’s be patient. Thiem will have another chances, because he is learning and making progress all the time – with a new step ahead in his skills, it will be not relevant, who is on the other side of the net and how god he plays.
I’m not sad and I’m sure, Bresnik will be very satisfied with Dominic’s performance. The result? Read the book. When Thiem’s father was earlier travelling with Dominic, but Bresnik was coaching him in Vienna, building-up his basics, they were in a hot contact per phone. And after the match Bresnik was calling and asking “What about the match?” The father answered “he won 6:2, 6:4″ and Bresnik asked again – I don’t care about result, how was his performance”. This will continue and neither Bresnik nor Thiem want to go other ways.
I’m very happy with Dominic’s USO2018. He did the next step (QF) and showed outstanding new skills on hard, he did not possess 2017. Thiem is an outstanding Bo5-player, he will always do best things in this format.
Like I said, I too hope he gets more chances.
Yes, he will. 2019 you will see again another Thiem’s version, ready to go for maybe all slam finals. Maybe I wrote here before, Theim is a late maturer (I have an article about it on my blog), meaning, he is biologically about 22, not 25. Has still lots of time. And while many think, his playing style does not promise longevity because of being so energy-consuming, I know, it only looks like this. Specific for his technique. He is 185 cm tall and weighs 79-80 kg. It’s not a muscle pack. And his hard shots are not produced by Nadal-like muscles, but by perfection of shot preparation. If nothing special happens, Thiem is designed for longevity.
I agree, WJ. His technique is near perfection on some of this one-handers. At least his timing, with that power and body control. He was great throughout most of that match, such a supremely high level — that classical style/power blend. This is the development of the one hander. Incredible to watch.
I also hope Thiem gets more chances. I felt had he won last night he could have gone all the way. I also agree that rafa will beat delpo. It might be close but rafa will win. I would give delpo a better shot against djokovic; but rafa will go after his backhand and delpo will run out of steam. All of this has happened before and will happen again.
I pretty much agree. Rafa feeds on these kinds of matches. He has until Friday to recover.
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