It actually annoys me to write this.
At the World Tour Finals in London in 2017 I wrote a piece about Dominic Thiem which said;
“Style but no substance”
It was frustrating then and even more so now as he has improved but that performance against Dusan Lajovic lacked any substance.
Where was the power?
It isn’t often a first serve in at 76% gets criticised but it was bad. It was like someone had dropped it in and I got tired of watching that lefty serve out-wide because this is a shot only a few can do and to do it well needs some power behind it.
It is such a good serve but at the same time so bad. You can’t see Lajovic in the image but he get’s the ball back and two shots later wins the rally and you have to ask how?!
Image Credit – Sky Sports
There is no pace on it, you can’t just drop a serve in yes it looks good but it isn’t doing anything and I didn’t get it at all and it continued throughout the match.
That lefty serve out-wide should be hit with spin and pace but just spin was put on it and it nullified any potential advantage for the Austrian.
Flashy but no ruthlessness
I love clay court tennis and you have to be flashy and bring some flair to the court but at the same time you have to be ruthless.
We saw a Thiem at Indian Wells that was flashy but ruthless where as we saw a Thiem here that was flashy and that was it.
I like that clay court tennis brings out more variety but it has to stand up.
I’m interested to see now where he goes from here. Next up is Barcelona next week for Thiem and this is something which should be a quick fix but is also an aspect of his game which we haven’t seen creep in for a while.
I did feel that Thiem could have gone far here and I said about this year hopefully being his next level following his final in Roland Garros last year but before you think about putting on a show the first thought has to be is my tennis being effective?
On today’s example, it’s a no and needs to go back to basics finding more pace on the serve which is a quick fix and and playing the “Hollywood” shots with intent and not just for entertainment.