Hello, folks. First of all a very happy 90th birthday to a long time reader of mine Dolores! You are setting the bar high for the rest of us! Congrats! And another congrats is in order for Thiem who won his second career ATP title today in Umag when he defeated Sousa 6-4, 6-1 in a very confident performance. This comes after his first ATP title in Nice just before the French Open. It is also his second ATP Tour 250 level title and second title on clay.
He didn’t have a great grass court season, winning only two matches in four tournaments, but he seems to be heading back up in the rankings now that he is back on his beloved clay. With this title, he climbs to #24 in the rankings and #22 in the race. Not bad at all for a 21-year old these days. I think this title is huge for him, especially with how easily he won the final. In the final of Nice, he went to a tie-break in the decider, although granted Mayer is better than Sousa.
Who does this hairstyle remind you of as a youngster?
I didn’t watch the match, but from what I read it sounded like Thiem was a lot more confident and decisive, especially in the second set. His lack of decisiveness was something that bothered me about his game, but it looks like he is maturing and gaining in confidence. That is great to see. He also breadsticked Monfils in the decider in the semis. With this title it appears he has now mastered the ATP 250 level. At least on clay. The next step would be to win a hard court title or an ATP 500 on clay.
But it is great to see him backing up his first title so quickly with a second one and after a slow start to the year he is making quick progress again. I don’t think it’s a big deal that he is getting his best results on one surface either. He has already had great results on hard court too and will develop as a player on other surfaces than clay as he matures. I don’t even think he is a bad grass court player. He just needs more tennis on it.
The legend graced Umag with his presence
In the long run, he will probably be more like Stan though as far as favoring slower surfaces go. He has a very similar game to Stan with a great one-handed backhand, heavy groundstrokes, a big serve, and very competent volleys. As far as slams go he will favor Melbourne and Paris like Stan as well. He needs time to set up those big groundstrokes like Stan. He will be devastating off the ground when he ages some more and gets even stronger.
He already hits it with a ton of power off the ground. But what I love about his game is that he also has the variation and touch. It’s hard to say at this point just how far he can go in the game, but I think he has loads of potential and I will keep following his progress eagerly. His progress has been fast and steady, bar a few hiccups and I will also be keeping a close eye on him during the hard court season. He already made the fourth round of the US Open last year.
- Elsewhere this Week
There were, of course, two other events being played this week in Bogota and Bastad. Bastad was on clay as well and there Paire won his first title. Another talented French player but mentally fragile as the French are. Then in Bogota which was a hard court event another youngster Tomic(22) won his third ATP title 10 days after being arrested for partying too loudly in Miami. And you can add Tomic to the list of talented but mentally fragile.
Third ATP title for Tomic!
Alexander Zverev(18) made the semis in Bastad as well so it’s been another good week for the youngsters.
- Dimitrov Turns Over New Page
Now to someone who is a bit older but still relatively young at age 24. Dimitrov has already been top 10 but his results have been poor of late and he hasn’t lived up to the big hype surrounding him. As far as I was concerned he needed to ditch both his coach Rasheed and his girlfriend Sharapova, which is exactly what he did. Coincidence? I don’t think so. He has also been seen training with Lendl which can only be a good thing.
If he does get Lendl on board that would be huge for him and exactly what he needs at this stage of his career. He needs someone strict to kick his ass into gear and teach him a winning mentality. For all his talent, he is mentally lazy and weak. His mind is not in the game, but it may be now after deciding to get rid of Sharapova and training with Lendl. I’m not saying he is the one who left Sharapova but I think it is likely and it is a good thing either way.
Here is what he said:
“Now I’m concentrated entirely on the game and I’m sure the results will soon be seen… This is the summer of the new beginning for me.”
It is yet to be seen if Dimitrov will live by these words and changes his attitude to tennis but if he does then he could be a threat to anyone probably. Maybe he lacks a really big shot but his serve and forehand are pretty big and he is talented. I’m sure with a coach like Lendl he can possibly contend for slams. With Stan, Federer, Murray, Nadal, Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, and the new group of youngsters coming up there are many good players, but the Djoker remains in a league of his own.
The is in your court.