By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday September 15, 2021
Dominic Thiem thinks Novak Djokovic will be back as strong as ever in 2022. The Austrian, who spoke to Stats Perform, says now the pressure will drop, and it will be easier for Djokovic to find his top form and get over the sting of a tough loss at the hands of Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s US Open final.
.@ThiemDomi‘s take on the GOAT debate after Novak Djokovic failed to complete his calendar-year Grand Slam: “For me, there are three GOATs in the game, and each of them has achieved something very unique.”https://t.co/rQ3QEWRaJM
— Tennis Majors (@Tennis_Majors) September 15, 2021
“One unbelievable goal slipped out of his hands yesterday,” Thiem told Stats Perform. “I expect him to be as strong as ever in 2022. I think after he won in Roland-Garros, everybody was only talking about the calendar slam – first about the Golden Slam, and then about the calendar slam.”
Djokovic made up ground on his rivals in 2021, notching three Grand Slam titles to draw level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 major singles titles apiece. But he couldn’t lock down the Calendar Year Grand Slam at the US Open, where he was bidding to become the first male player in 52 years to achieve the feat.
“I really felt for him as well towards the end of the match.” Thiem said. “So, it can happen that it also makes him even stronger next year when all these talks and all this pressure is not that big anymore.”
Djokovic finishes his Grand Slam season at 27-1 after losing to Medvedev in Sunday’s US Open final, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Theim, the 2020 US Open champion, has been out with a wrist injury since early summer. It was a strange season for Thiem, who openly talked about difficulties finding passion for the sport after reaching his ultimate goal of winning a Grand Slam title in 2020. The Austrian, 28, seemed to be rekindling the joy on the clay this spring but could not find his form again at Roland Garros, where he blew a two sets to love lead to fall to Pablo Andujar in five sets in the first round.
Not long after he injured his wrist on the grass in Mallorca, during his first match with France’s Adrian Mannarino. Thiem will not return until 2022.