Thiem is in the lead among the "post-90s" players.
After nearly two weeks of competition, the 2020 Australian Open is about to usher in the final chapter. After Djokovic beat Federer to win the 50th "Feder Showdown", the other semi-final in the men's singles arena was a contest between future successors.
In the Men's Singles Semifinals of the Australian Open on 31 January, Austrian Dominik Thiem, the 5th seed of the tournament, defeated Germany's new generation player Alexander Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) to reach the Australian Open final for the first time in his career and the third grand slam final.
After beating Zverev Jr., the 26-year-old Thiem also set a new record – the first post-90s to reach the final of the Australian Open. And his opponent in the final will be the unprecedented Australian Open "seven-time champion" Serbian king Djokovic.
Although Tim was injured, he still performed well.
The first "90" to reach the final of the Australian Open
Judging from past hand-to-hand records, Thiem, who is 4 years older than Zverev, clearly has the upper hand. The two have played each other 8 times before, with Thiem winning 6 and losing 2; Their most recent encounter was in the year-end finals late last year, when Thiem won in two straight sets; The two played each other at the Grand Slam all came from the French Open, and the result, of course, was the victory of Tim, who was stronger in clay.
"We know each other too well, so to speak, there are no secrets." In an interview before the game, Tim had already predicted that it would be a bitter battle, "We have played many times, and it is all in major competitions, and we are very competitive. ”
The process of the game is really very sticky.
In the first two sets, the two won one set each, during which Thiem also vaguely injured; In the third set, they fought for 82 minutes, and in the end, Thiem won hard in the seven.
In the most crucial set 4, Thiem and Zverev Jr. each saved the serve, and the game once again came to grab seven. Like the previous seven, Thiem seized the opportunity again, and the small score won the set 7-4, 7-6, and also won the whole game.
'It was an unbelievable game, there were two snatch sevens, it was very tough and very close. In an interview with star McEnrough after the game, Thiem couldn't hide his excitement, "I could hardly break because his (Zverev Jr.)'s one-shot rate was too high. ”
Judging from the data, the two are indeed evenly matched. Zverev Jr. sent a total of 16 Ace balls, while Thiem also had 10; In what Thiem said was a goal rate, Zverev Jr. also reached 81%, while he himself was only 67%; In terms of winning points, Tim has only one more than his opponent, but he is 13 times higher than his opponent in unforced errors...
In the end, Tim won the game and won the stable play at the key moment. His 9 break chances were finally achieved 5, with a break success rate of 44%; Zverev Jr., on the other hand, had a total of 15 break chances and only succeeded in 5 of them, with a 36 percent chance of breaking.
After a bitter battle with Nadal in the quarter-finals, Thiem admitted that the match with Zverev Jr. was not easy, "Both of us are reaching the final four of a Grand Slam for the first time, we are both nervous, it is very difficult for both of us. ”
For his opponent and friend, Tim also gave a high evaluation, "He usually trains very hard, he is a good tennis player, he has also made a breakthrough here this time." We've known each other for a long time and to be honest we're all looking forward to it. ”
Both Tim and Zverev Jr. could become "successors to the King".
Tim, the future successor of the King?
If Djokovic and Federer are still defending the dominance of the Big Three over the men's tennis, then Thiem and Zverev Jr. are seen as a challenge to break this monopoly, so the showdown between the two "90s" is seen as the next generation of "battle of kings".
At this Australian Open, Thiem and Zverev Jr. are all career-first in the top 4, and they both beat the Grand Slam winners in the quarter-finals. Among them, the 22-year-old German teenager defeated the 35-year-old Swiss veteran Wawrinka, a 35-time Grand Slam champion.
By contrast, Thiem's opponent is stronger — Spain's King Nadal, who holds 19 Grand Slam titles. Keep in mind that the top seed is in excellent form this year, having only lost 1 set against Kyrgios before playing against Thiem.
"He plays very well, combining energy, aggression and determination." Nadal spoke highly of his successor after the game, "I think we like each other's personalities, I like his attitude, maybe he likes mine too." ”
Able to beat espanyol in good shape and prevent him from equaling Federer's record of 20 Grand Slams, mesozoic player Tim is undoubtedly one of the best candidates for the "successor of the king". Among the many post-90s players, he is also the most stable one.
At this year's Australian Open, Tsitsipas, Churich, Kachalov, Shapovalov and other "post-90s" young players have all returned home. What is even more surprising is that this year's Australian Open is a big hit, and Russian youngster Medvedev lost to three-time Grand Slam winner Wawrinka...
Zverev Jr.'s performance is equally remarkable.
Thiem and Zverev Jr. broke into the top 4, not only creating the best record of the Australian Open of his career, but also defending the honor of the younger generation. The 22-year-old German, despite his poor record at the Grand Slam, is already the winner of the ATP year-end finals. The Austrian has reached the French Open final twice in 2018 and 2019, but both have lost to Nadal, and under the guidance of coach Masu, who has been working with him for less than a year, the Austrian boy is now rapidly improving his strength outside of clay.
Coupled with this Australian Open, Thiem has reached the Grand Slam final three times, ranking first among the men's "90" post-90s players. However, his final opponent is the "pro-son" of the Australian Open , Djokovic Djokovic, a 7-time Grand Slam winner and one of the big three.
'I've faced Rafa (Nadal) twice in the final of Roland Garros and now I'm going to face Djokovic. Thiem is well aware of the difficulties of the final, "He is the 'king of the Australian Open' and has won seven titles here. ”
"I'm going to do my best to win the game. But if I leave the pitch as a loser after that final, I won't be disappointed either. I will be patient, believe in the process, and keep working hard. ”
"After all, reaching the final of the Australian Open is also an incredible thing, and the new season has only just begun."