Which ever way this final went this piece was going to get written.
Just over a month ago I questioned why Dominic Thiem was playing clay before Indian Wells and I still stand by that as his clay court skills have never been in doubt.
Before his run at Indian Wells his career record at Masters 1000 on hard courts was 26 wins and 27 defeats.
Dominic has hired Nicolas Massu as part of his coaching team to help him be as effective on hard courts and he is looking good so far.
Massu is a former top 10 ranked player, Olympic medalist and made the semi-finals of doubles at Roland Garros as well as picking up 7 career titles.
I’ve watched a bit of Dominic Thiem this week and oh my isn’t he playing some beautiful tennis.
The talent is not and never has been in doubt, but showcasing it on hard court from clay court has been the issue.
He has shown us the full reportoire.
I’ve been watching and thinking to myself… what could he have done better and I don’t know.
In a three set match with one break of serve against Raonic he hit 9 unforced errors!
He is serving like he was a couple of years back with that kicker out with causing big problems. It sets himself up to be expressive on the baseline whether he’s moving to that inside out / inside in forehand or that backhand.
Now, watch this;
I’ve watched this about 10-15 times already.
The backhand is brilliant but the way he moved around the court made him dangerous and even in rallies where he’s almost running into the front row he is in contention.
I’ve criticised Dominic before for camping out and there is no issue with that as we see Nadal do it so well but now he is doing it and being effective.
Right now, his hard court tennis is oozing confidence, the swagger he played with is honestly something I’ve never seen from him on this surface and if he can replicate this going forward oh we are in for some entertainment!