Is Dominic Thiem ready to make the breakthrough?
He could win his first Grand Slam at the US Open
This year’s US Open has been unusual for many reasons, but it’s now guaranteed to be the first men’s Grand Slam event to be won by someone other than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic since Stan Wawrinka won the tournament in 2016.
If you add Andy Murray to the trio, the ‘big four’ have won all but seven of the majors since 2004. It’s been an astonishing era of dominance, but as they head towards the end of their careers, who will step up to replace them?
Dominic Thiem is among the group of players who’ve come close to winning a major recently, only to hit a glass ceiling. He’s lost the last two French Open finals and this year’s Australian Open final. He’s now 6/4 to go all the way at Flushing Meadows – is this his time?
The Austrian faces Daniil Medvedev in a very tricky semi-final in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Our traders can’t see much between them. Medvedev is the very narrow favourite at 4/5, with Thiem at 19/20.
After an early exit at the Western & Southern Open, Thiem looked a little shaky in the early rounds here. But he looks back to his best now, only dropping 15 games in total during his victories over Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex de Minaur.
He also leads Medvedev 2-1 in their previous meetings, though the Russian came out on top in their last contest.
Medvedev has yet to drop a set, but he needed a medical timeout against Andrey Rublev and suffered from cramp. If he’s not at his sharpest, Thiem’s physicality could make the difference. Expect Thiem to look to dominate the baseline exchanges, as he did when they met in Barcelona last year.
Can he take the next step?
If the world no. 3 does get the win, he’ll face either Alexander Zverev or Pablo Carreno Busta in the final.
Zverev has long been thought of as an outstanding talent. However, he tends to shine in a three-set format, rather than slogging it out over the best-of-five sets. Pablo Carrerno Busta can’t be taken lightly either at this stage, but he’s the 14/1 outsider among the final four.
Unlike his potential opponents, Thiem has also experienced a Grand Slam final before. He’s gone into each of his previous three finals as the clear underdog, coming up against Nadal twice and Djokovic once. There’d be a totally different dynamic this time around, which could produce a happier outcome too.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication