Just a quick update about something interesting that has nothing to do with Miami. As you can see Roger invited Dominic Thiem, who I have raved about and called the real ‘baby Fed’ of late, for a practice camp on clay leading up to Monte Carlo. I also posted a video of them practicing at Wimbledon a couple of posts ago so this won’t be the first time. It seems Roger has taken a liking to the kid which is not surprising to me. He is very respectful and hard working like Roger himself. They both have great attitudes toward the game. Thiem is also a player who hits with loads of top spin which makes him a good player to train with on clay for Roger who have historically struggled with Nadal’s huge topspin.
From Thiem’s viewpoint he is skipping the tournament he would have played in Casablanca to train with the GOAT. That shows you he has his priorities right. Even though there is points and prize money available in Casablanca it is clearly better in the long run to go on a training camp with the GOAT. The experience and advice Thiem will get from the training camp is invaluable. Who knows when Roger retires he may even coach Thiem. I wonder how Dimitrov feels about this development. He would probably give up Sharapova to have a one week training camp with the GOAT, which in itself would be the greatest thing he could do for his tennis. But Thiem is showing more promise and like I said his top spin shots makes him a better candidate for the clay.
The three(sportsmanship) musketeers
I am already looking very much forward to see how Roger and Dominic both fare in Monte Carlo, but of course today is the final in Miami. And as expected it will be another Djokoray final. It is not the most exciting match up in the world but I enjoyed the Australian Open final and I’m looking forward to the Miami final too. Djokovic has won their last six meetings so of course he is the favorite, but you can’t underestimate Murray who has beaten Djokovic in two slam finals. But first back to the semis where Djokovic schooled Isner 7-6(3), 6-2. The first set was close as the scoreline suggests but then Djokovic was basically toying with Isner in the second set. Isner was playing at a very high level in the first set but once Djokovic weathered the storm Isner couldn’t keep that level up.
Djokovic is still the best player in the world by quite a margin and should he win the title today against Murray he will have reached another big milestone by winning a record third Indian Wells/Miami double. He is already the best slow hard court player in history as far as I’m concerned but that would really lock it up. This week he has once again shown how unplayable he is on slow hard with the victories over Klizan, Dolgopolov, and Isner. Isner himself defeated a whole generation of top players in Dimitrov, Raonic, and Nishikori, but couldn’t take a set off Djokovic. Murray is a better player than anyone Djokovic faced so far but the level Dolgopolov and Isner showed may be better than anything Murray is capable of.
Ps. I forgot to mention that Djokovic out aced Isner 10-9 which is extraordinary in itself. Djokovic’s serve is much improved and is now a serious weapon. As if he wasn’t already good enough.