Disappointing is the word I’d use, surprised? Definitely not and that is no dis-respect to Thiem but Hurkacz did have a very good run at Indian Wells with wins against Shapovalov, Nishikori and Pouille as well as pushing Federer.
I felt like Hurkacz did his homework, he played a very good match and his movement behind the baseline enabled him to be able to ask questions of Thiem’s attack but the Austrian struggled.
Short balls caught him out.
I could have picked up plenty of examples but here is one;
Image Credit – ATP
Short ball, this is where Dominic was hitting the ball against Hurkacz. What is that achieving? Your putting yourself on the back foot now…
Remember at Indian Wells in the final against Federer after the first set he stepped up about a metre to hit groundstrokes, that seemed to go missing and it isn’t the first time we’ve seen an issue, we’ve seen him resolve it and then we’ve him go back.
Roll back to last week;
There we go, the backline.
Now I know you aren’t going to hit the back line every time it just isn’t feasible but rallies have to progress and this is what we didn’t see against Hurkacz.
There is nothing wrong with short shots and them going for it which is what Thiem did well at Indian Wells but that final punch to push the ball further back wasn’t there which was odd.
To be honest, I don’t think and I hope Thiem doesn’t look sleep over this defeat. Indian Wells was a big milestone for him but you could argue we are set for the biggest chapter now of his career.
With concerns over Nadal’s knee and the clay is where Thiem does the majority of his talking this will be an exciting couple of months of tennis for the Austrian.