For the third time this year Roger Federer has been beaten by Dominic Thiem. In the previous two encounters at Indian Wells and Madrid the Austrian saved match points but this performance was well-thought and well executed.
Federer in an interview with Prime Video before the match had this to say about facing Dominic Thiem;
Honest assessment from Federer and he wasn’t wrong the performance from Dominic Thiem was terrible.
The world number five was dumped out 6-2 6-3 in what was a messy performance. He was returning serve from over a metre inside the baseline and continued to try and camp inside with the ball landing at his feet and no time to react.
It was bad. Thiem however learnt from that and at Indian Wells on the hard courts and in London played such a clever game.
Because of how high he was up the court last year he was hitting his backhand soo short that it was being eaten up and spat back out. This time it was deeper in the court and a majority cross court.
You may think going into the Federer forehand is dangerous which it is but when you go in with top-spin and depth it isn’t coming back with much interest on it.
I said after the first set we hadn’t seen any ‘lights out tennis’ from either player on such a fast court but Thiem used his weapons to nullify any attacks from Roger.
The way he opened up the court was fantastic especially after serving so smartly which he did the entire match. Federer saw break points but could only cover 1 of 4.
After he serves we know Dominic Thiem likes to go into the forehand on the second shot which he did for about 74% compared with 26% on the backhand. We know what he wants to hit the majority of the time but the placement was exceptional.
52% into the backhand side of Federer
8% down the middle
40% down the line into the forehand of Federer
Overall a smart performance from a guy who has had a superb season and based on this performance he will take some stopping.
I like the matured game of Thiem who could be carless before but the way he changed his approach against Federer was smart. In his 2-6 3-6 drubbing last year only 17% of his shots were in the final third of the court towards the Federer baseline, this year 36%! Big improvement and rewarded with a deserved win!