Dominic Thiem will be a future contender but he needs to be more ruthless first!

Dominic Thiem is one of the tours most talented players. The Austrian is seeded 5 for this year’s opener in Melbourne but why isn’t he considered a favourite?

I’m a massive fan of Thiem, I like his game and his swagger on court is refreshing however I watched his opening round match against Guido Pella and despite a straight set win the performance was good but lacked that great performance which would turn him into a contender.

I have written about Thiem a lot over the last 12 months and one piece was titled;

Terrific Thiem to Terrible Thiem in 24 hours

I said he was ‘too nice’ against Dimitrov in Brisbane last year

Also a terrific start to a terrible end against Del Potro in New York

This isn’t just a one off performing well but falling apart and against a better player I’m afraid he would have been in trouble which is why I don’t see him as a contender yet.

In a preview I did for the world tour finals last year I said that he’s too nice and casual at times with volleys and we this here below!

thiem volley n

Image Credit – Australian Open

The movement is good but the contact is too soft and needs to be sharper, this ball needs to be put away! Pella went on to hit a passing forehand.

The other is the return of serve especially second serve which is something else I picked up in London.

Thiem return nww

Image Credit – Australian Open

Defending this deep works on a clay court but on these hards courts not really. 5 metres behind the baseline on a 139kph (86mph) serve is odd. Thiem progressed up the court well but failed to create a big issue for Pella.

The last one I picked out was the smash, the smash was fine but the lack of ‘put away’ was awful.

Thiem Smash

Image Credit – Australian Open

Three attempts he had and he messed it up before being lobbed himself and losing the point.

From time to time you will miss points like these in a match and make odd decisions but this was just a selection of poor shots and there were a few. Thiem got the win but against (with respect) better opposition you need to be more effective.

I’m a big fan of Thiem and I think he will win majors but does need to tweak his game a little on a hard court to be effective and more ruthless. He can afford to be a little more casual on clay as he is excellent on the surface but even a great like Nadal has had to adapt his game from one surface to another.

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