The Austrian Dominic Thiem is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant tennis players of his generation. In 2017 season he maintained his progression, even within the top-10, finishing fifth best player of the year. The beginning of the 2018 campaign has started well: reaching the semifinals in Doha; the fourth round at the Australian Open; and winning the title in Buenos Aires, the ninth of his career.
If 2016 was the springboard for the disciple of Günter Bresnik, 2017 reaffirmed his evolution with notable results in many of the big events of the calendar. Despite it being a campaign with fewer tournament victories in the circuit (he won three titles in 2015 and four in 2016) in winning his eight title, the ATP 500 of Rio de Janeiro, he showed he had stepped up a level.
"Dominator", as he is known on the circuit, started playing tennis aged 6. He grew up among rackets, since his parents, Wolfgang and Karin, are tennis teachers and his youngest brother, Moritz, also started playing this sport, although without so much success. Stefan Koubek and, of course, Jurgen Melzer were Dominic's childhood idols.
Barcelona fans will remember him for his exceptional participation in the last edition of the Real Club Tenis Barcelona tournament. Thiem reached the final after beating world No.1 Andy Murray in the semifinals, and stepped on court to face Rafa Nadal on the court that bears his name. Both offered a great show that confirmed Thiem as one of the best specialists of the moment on clay.
Both met again several times during the spring clay season. Thiem again fell to Nadal in the Madrid final, but he got revenge in the quarterfinals of Rome. In Roland Garros they crossed again, this time in the semifinals, with a victory going to the Spanish champion. The Nadal-Thiem encounters have become classics of the clay court.