2017 midseason review: Dominic Thiem

The Austrian, currently ranked seventh in the world, is having a solid season, having reached the second week at all three Grand Slam tournaments so far, as well as reaching three ATP finals and a Grand Slam semifinal.

2017 midseason review: Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem celebrates winning his first title of 2017 at the Rio Open (Getty/Buda Mendes)

One of the most consistent players on the ATP Tour has been Dominic Thiem, who is currently the world number seven and is ranked third on the ATP Race To London.

Dominic Thiem celebrates his title victory at the Rio Open (Getty/Buda Mendes)
Dominic Thiem celebrates his title victory at the Rio Open (Getty/Buda Mendes)

After a breakthrough 2016 season, which saw the Austrian make the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time in his career, Thiem has continued his momentum in the first six months of 2017, with an ATP title, a Grand Slam semifinal, and a first Masters 1000 final to his name.

Season Positives

Perhaps the biggest positive of Thiem’s season has been his consistency at Grand Slam tournaments; an area where he has struggled in the past. The Austrian reached the fourth round for the second consecutive year at the Australian Open, losing to David Goffin, and also made the same stage at Wimbledon for the first time, losing to Tomas Berdych. His best result was at the French Open, where he made the last four for the second consecutive year. Thiem beat the likes of Bernard Tomic and Steve Johnson to reach the last eight, where he recorded his first ever win over Novak Djokovic before falling to Rafael Nadal in the semifinal.

Dominic Thiem with the title after winning at the Rio Open (Getty/Buda Mendes)
Dominic Thiem with the title after winning at the Rio Open (Getty/Buda Mendes)

Thiem has also won the Rio Open this year without dropping a set, beating the likes of Diego Schwartzman and Albert-Ramos Vinolas before seeing off Pablo Carreno Busta in the final. Clay has unsurprisingly proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Austrian this year, as he also reached the final in Barcelona, beating world number one Andy Murray before losing to Nadal in the final, and also reached the final in Madrid where he once agains fell to the Spaniard. Thiem also reached the semifinal in Rome, beating Nadal in the last eight before falling to Djokovic.

The Austrian also reached the last eight in Indian Wells, Rotterdam, Brisbane, and Acapulco this season, and in total has won 38 matches so far in 2017.

Season Negatives

It has overall been a strong season for Thiem, though there have undoubtedly been a few disappointments for him.

His start to the season was not too great, losing to Grigor Dimitrov after just one match in Brisbane and to Dan Evans in Sydney, and he also lost in the first round in Sofia to Nikoloz Basilashvili and in Miami to Borna Coric. In Rotterdam his loss came to Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who was outside the top 100 at the point, and the Austrian also had some poor grass court results before Wimbledon, losing to Robin Haase in Halle and to world number 222 Ramkumar Ramanathan in the first round of Antalya.

Dominic Thiem during his French Open semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal (Getty/Jean Catuffe)
Dominic Thiem during his French Open semifinal loss to Rafael Nadal (Getty/Jean Catuffe)

Another thing that may be concerning for Thiem is his performance in some big matches. In Rome, after beating Nadal, Thiem just won one game in his semifinal against Djokovic, and put in another meek performance during his French Open semifinal match against the Spaniard; there is no doubt that Thiem will need to play much better in big matches if he wants to begin to win big titles.

Looking Ahead

There is no doubt that Thiem’s preferred surface is clay, not hard court, but the Austrian will still be dangerous throughout the remainder of the season.

Dominic Thiem in action during the US Open last year (Getty/Elsa)
Dominic Thiem in action during the US Open last year (Getty/Elsa)

The Austrian does not have too many points to defend over the hard court summer, and will be the top seed at the Citi Open which begins in less than two weeks time. He will be looking to at least match his run to the US Open fourth round from last year, and will undoubtedly be hoping for a strong end to 2017 as he aims for the World Tour Finals in November.

Midseason Grade: A

Whilst there have been one or two disappointing moments for Thiem this year, the fact that he is third on the Race To London clearly shows he is having one of the best seasons on the tour. The Austrian has been generally very consistent, and will be confident for the rest of the season.