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Thiem was closer than ever to win a slam and it wasn´t on clay but on HC, once again he had Nadal and Djokovic on his way.

I´ve noticed he changed his game, he sliced a lot in the final and played long rallies modulating the pace, being patient, mixing aggresion when needed instead of trying to hit as soon and as powerful as he could from behind the baseline as he used to. I think Djokovic got rattled and had no answer for that because that´s mostly his own plan. Thiem´s ros and serve were on his side for most part until the 4th set but as soon as Thiem became less patient , Djokovic got the upperhand again.

To me, Thiem´s strategy worked well and was the right one but his nerves betrayed him when he realized he could win it all in the 4th set.

Any thoughts? has Thiem improved? does he need to improve apart from the psychological side?
 

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His service game is atrocious. Donated 1 break per set in virtually every match with 4 wild balls. He need 2 breaks to win a set even from R1.

Djokovic remembered that and punish it by holding serve. Nadal did the same thing in RG.

This is the only part he needs improvement. He don't have to ball bash on his serve since his defense is so good. Play smart and bash on opponent's serve.
 

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His game has improved a lot, but staying with Djoker in rallies on a hardcourt is tough. Thiem had the right strategy. He failed to execute, with nerves playing a factor. Djoker shrinks the court to ridiculous levels, and Thiem found himself hitting harder and harder, which is tough when you are nervous. Thiem needed Djoker to implode, which he did for 2 sets. In the end, Djoker managed to find the serve again and came in a lot more. Once someone starts coming into the net more, you also find yourself wanting or having to attack more, and that led to more errors by Thiem.

Going forward Thiem needs to improve his return position. You can't be returning second serves 2 meters behind the baseline. It works for Rafa, but not for many.
 

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His returns are owning Novak. He is probably the best defender on tour right now. Its losing his own serve from R1 causing low energy levels are his undoings.
 

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His returns are owning Novak. He is probably the best defender on tour right now. Its losing his own serve from R1 causing low energy levels are his undoings.
Djoker served so poorly today, and Thiem did not punish him. Some of those second serves by Djoker were so low on speed it was crazy, but Thiem failed to punish them because he was too far back. If he was playing someone like Milos, sure, stand that far back. When Djoker got the serve working again, that was that. Thiem did not break once in the last 2 sets. The return is an area he can improve on.
 

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Djoker served so poorly today, and Thiem did not punish him. Some of those second serves by Djoker were so low on speed it was crazy, but Thiem failed to punish them because he was too far back. If he was playing someone like Milos, sure, stand that far back. When Djoker got the serve working again, that was that. Thiem did not break once in the last 2 sets. The return is an area he can improve on.
Its normal Djoker serve, in this tournament he had not met a good returner until Thiem. Thiem is a good returner so a lot of balls cannot pass through him. He simply needs to save energy from early rounds. In sets 4 and 5 he don't have any more tank left so Djoker's shots accuracy placement beat him.

Thiem has energy to play 1 hour on court in first 2 sets, it tied with amazing shots.
 

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Its normal Djoker serve, in this tournament he had not met a good returner until Thiem. Thiem is a good returner so a lot of balls cannot pass through him. He simply needs to save energy from early rounds. In sets 4 and 5 he don't have any more tank left so Djoker's shots accuracy placement beat him.

Thiem has energy to play 1 hour on court in first 2 sets, it tied with amazing shots.
Not met a good returner? Diego is a quality returner, 3rd behind Rafa and Djoker. Thiem is an okay returner. The guy is number 22 on the ATP return rankings. He has improved his return, but he can improve even more, and I think he will. Massu has done well with Thiem. And Thiem will get that major soon.
 

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His tactics were perfect. And his deep returning position neutralised the Djokovic serve. Every time they got into a rally in the first 3 sets, Dominic was the stronger.

His one big mistake was not abandoning the BH DTL winner attempts, which just weren't working. He could have won without that shot.

Plus, he got physically and mentally tired. Beating Rafa in particular always takes a toll.

That said, the final game he played was abysmally bad. Djokovic was showing signs of getting tight, and Dominic just hit stupid shots.

Overall, though, Thiem can now beat anyone from the baseline on HC. He won't have to wait long to win a slam, especially as his seedings increase.
 

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His tactics were perfect. And his deep returning position neutralised the Djokovic serve. Every time they got into a rally in the first 3 sets, Dominic was the stronger.

His one big mistake was not abandoning the BH DTL winner attempts, which just weren't working. He could have won without that shot.

Plus, he got physically and mentally tired. Beating Rafa in particular always takes a toll.

That said, the final game he played was abysmally bad. Djokovic was showing signs of getting tight, and Dominic just hit stupid shots.

Overall, though, Thiem can now beat anyone from the baseline on HC. He won't have to wait long to win a slam, especially as his seedings increase.
The deep returning actually cost him in the end, as Djoker was not broken in the last 2 sets. I don't get this praise for returning even second serves that deep. The guy is ranked 22 on returning. Sure, you can return deeper on the first serve, but not putting pressure on the second serve by returning that deep is just not smart.
 

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The deep returning actually cost him in the end, as Djoker was not broken in the last 2 sets. I don't get this praise for returning even second serves that deep. The guy is ranked 22 on returning. Sure, you can return deeper on the first serve, but not putting pressure on the second serve by returning that deep is just not smart.
I think we're reading the match differently.

In my reading of the match, Dominic was stronger until he ran out of legs. He was able to dominate even without an aggressive position on second serves, which would only have brought him up the court more and played into Novak's hands.

Because of his extra hours on court during the tournament, he needed to get it done in 4. But Novak played a very good 4th set and that was that.

I have no doubt that, if Novak had had a difficult QF or SF, then the outcome would have been different.

As much as this was a painful loss, Dominic is now better from the baseline on HC than anyone in the game. That will translate very soon into big tournaments and higher rankings.
 

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I think we're reading the match differently.

In my reading of the match, Dominic was stronger until he ran out of legs. He was able to dominate even without an aggressive position on second serves, which would only have brought him up the court more and played into Novak's hands.

Because of his extra hours on court during the tournament, he needed to get it done in 4. But Novak played a very good 4th set and that was that.

I have no doubt that, if Novak had had a difficult QF or SF, then the outcome would have been different.

As much as this was a painful loss, Dominic is now better from the baseline on HC than anyone in the game. That will translate very soon into big tournaments and higher rankings.
By not being more aggressive on the return, Thiem allowed Djoker to be more aggressive in the 4th and 5th sets. That changed the match. Djoker was even serving and volleying because Thiem was returning that deep. It's just not a good idea against Djoker, who can open you up with angles when you return that deep. Thiem can return that deep against many players and get away with it, but against Djoker, it's much tougher. Only on clay can he get away with that over 5 sets.
 

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By not being more aggressive on the return, Thiem allowed Djoker to be more aggressive in the 4th and 5th sets. That changed the match. Djoker was even serving and volleying because Thiem was returning that deep. It's just not a good idea against Djoker, who can open you up with angles when you return that deep. Thiem can return that deep against many players and get away with it, but against Djoker, it's much tougher. Only on clay can he get away with that over 5 sets.
I take your point, but I still think that when you can out-rally someone, the trick is to get the ball back into play on the return.

In the 4th and 5th sets, the difference was not tactical, but physical.

Whenever Dominic tried to be too aggressive too soon, his game fell apart. Whenever he forced the rallies, he got on top. Stepping forward to aggressively go after second serves is a good tactic for someone who can't hang with an opponent from the baseline. Stepping back and returning deep and central to get a neutral rally is the way to go for Dominic.

This Novak needs cheap points on serve, as do Rafa and Fed. Returning deep forecloses that avenue.
 

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Thiem is obviously a fantastic player, so yes, he is good even on HC (and he improved, which is normal for his age and game). However, still not good enough to beat Djokovic in Bo5... Many here are saying that Thiem was better, and just tired. Remember first set? Every single Thiem's service game was under constant pressure, it was just a matter of moment when he would bent. After that, Djokovic's level dropped, yet somehow he found the right gear in the 4th and 5th set. After all, he had 10 points more in total, despite losing 6 game in a row. But, on the topic, Thiem improved himself (not only on HC), and it is yet to see if that's enough to win a major this year (especially USO).
 

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Thiem being good only on clay is one of the biggest modern tennis myths. There's absolutely no reason to be unsuccessful on HC, at least on a slow-medium hard. He's been taking players who are supposedly stronger than him on a given surface to 5 sets for years, even on grass. Losing those matches, along with many others that he lost to various mugs, does not signify skill deficit, but only the lack of mental and tactical prowess. Which is still very much the case. But I am hopeful. His game keeps evolving under Massu and with that should come confidence. He'll never be the greatest decision maker, but he is capable of learning winning patterns.
 
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THiem has improved enormously on HCs, obviously. That should have been apparent USO 2018 against Nadal (because posters here bash Nadal so much Thiem's excellence is not noted) then obvious IW 2019.

He has more to threaten the top top 3 than anyone else. Particularly the power and mobility. The biggest weakness IMO is still mental, that's what stopped him in the AO final.

I watched his presser and he did not say he faltered mentally. LOL! OK DOmi if you want to see it that way. He had the game physically to beat Djok, but not the mental toughness.

YOu got an exhausted Djok down 2 sets and you manage to lose. I saw the turning point in Domi's loss came serving 3/4 in the 4th. He played an aboslute stinker of a game and gave Djok the break, and life. Then the DFs started coming, and once it went to a 5th we all knew it was Djok's.

Surely Domi knew he had to do it in 4?????

I hope he watches this match again (how could he not?) and looks at that game very carefully. That is where the final was lost. One weak game.
 

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While there have undoubtedly been improvements with his return and his BH, I more or less rate these as continuous improvements that have already been adressed by Bresnik.

The star in his game is definitely his FH, that has become way more compact in the last 8-10 months or so, allowing him to stand closer to the baseline, making him a MUCH more efficient HC player. The significantly increased clutchness and body language under Massu is also one of the main reasons of his recent success though.
 
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With all due respect, Novak was up and down emotionally since May 2019. He loved tanking many games suddenly because he liked telling himself that there were numerous classic battles. When he worked hard, he broke Thiem easily.
 

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With all due respect, Novak was up and down emotionally since May 2019. He loved tanking many games suddenly because he liked telling himself that there were numerous classic battles. When he worked hard, he broke Thiem easily.
Like when? Give examples of when he easily broke Thiem, please.
 
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