Dominic Thiem became the fourth player to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals this year in London. The Austrian is set to make his second appearance at the O2 Arena where he went 1-2 last year in the round-robin stage.
Thiem has made three finals this year, all on clay, winning one of them. He will join the current field of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Alexander Zverev in London.
Classy On Clay
The Austrian's best results year in, year out have come on clay, and it's no surprise that his three finals and best Grand Slam showing this year have all come on the surface. His first clay tournament of the year in Rio de Janeiro saw him capture the title without dropping a set after defeating Pablo Carreño Busta in the final.
With the move to the European clay, he lost earlier than expected in Monte Carlo, but that came at the hands of David Goffin, who is excellent on the surface as well. After that, he made the final of both Barcelona and Madrid but wilted at the hands of the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal.
The world number seven finally bested Nadal in Rome, overcoming the Spaniard in a grueling straight set affair. The tank after that match was as pretty close to empty as one could get after defeating Nadal on clay with Thiem absolutely getting blasted by Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.
The French Open was where the Austrian exacted his revenge on the Serb. He cruised through his first four matches and provided a world-class performance against Djokovic to oust him in straight sets. Once again, he ran into Nadal who crushed everyone en route to a historic La Decíma in Paris.
Solid Slam Results
The Austrian started off his Grand Slam year with a fourth round showing at the Australian Open, exiting at the hands of Goffin. The world number seven went four sets in every one of his matches at Melbourne Park. Grass is Thiem's weakest surface, but he also went on to make the fourth round at Wimbledon, losing to Tomas Berdych in a highly-entertaining five set affair.
The US Open will provide the biggest heartbreak for the Austrian though. After getting through comfortably in his first three matches, Thiem was up two sets to love on an ill-ridden Juan Martin del Potro who was battling the flu. The Austrian had leads in the fourth and fifth set, even holding match points, but could not close it out to earn himself a showdown with Federer.