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Thiem Sees GOAT as Two-Man Race

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, February 6, 2023

Dominic Thiem knows what it takes to beat the Big 3—and identify the GOAT.

Asked to assess the Greatest Of All Time, Thiem sees a two-man race for one, true GOAT.

More: Parks Grounds Garcia for First WTA Title

The 2020 US Open champion says one factor will decide GOAT: Total Grand Slam titles.

Novak Djokovic collected his record-extending 10th Australian Open crown to match rival Rafael Nadal men's major mark with his 22nd Grand Slam title.

Tennis Express

Thiem, who owns a 5-2 career record over 20-time major champion Roger Federer, says GOAT comes down to the major master, which leaves the 41-year-old Swiss superstar out of the mix.

"In my opinion, Grand Slam titles should be the criterion to determine who is the best of all time, they are the four most important tournaments in tennis," Thiem told Austrian media agency Kronen Zeitung. "The rest of the achievements are fine, but they are not the same.

"The Grand Slams are the ones that count, so GOAT is possibly the tennis player with the most Grand Slams."

Continuing efforts to rebuild his ranking, Thiem said "I think I can get back to the top of tennis" but concedes his best level has eluded him and will require a lot more work.

The Austrian owns Grand Slam wins over both Djokovic and Nadal. Like the rest of the tennis world, Thiem said he was not surprised seeing the 35-year-old Serbian stretch his AO winning streak to 28 matches with his 41st straight victory on Australian soil.

Why no surprise?

Because Thiem says Djokovic is simply better than the rest of the pack chasing the world No. 1.

"I'm not surprised with what Djokovic has done, he still looks young," Thiem said. "Physically and mentally, because of how he moves on the track. He looks like he was 25 years old.

"Let's be honest, he's the best, so his win didn't surprise me."

Photo credit: Getty