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Rest of the ATP Has to Play Catchup with Teen Phenom Alcaraz, Says Thiem

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday, October 14, 2022

Dominic Thiem says that the rest of the tennis world is going to have to play catchup when it comes to competing with rising Carlos Alcaraz on the ATP Tour.

Tennis Express

“He already has a unique career,” Thiem said in a wide-ranging interview with AS of Spain. “He is the youngest number one in history and winner of the US Open as a teenager, exceptional. He is about to change tennis, because in New York, no matter how long the matches went on, he was there the whole time, playing offense, going to the net and contesting every point without fear. And I think this is new. Nobody did that before. we must catch up.”

On Rafa Being His Comeback Role Model

Thiem, who is into the semifinals this weekend in Gijon, Spain, also talked about the inspiration he has received from Rafael Nadal during his comeback from a wrist in injury in 2022.

“He is probably the best role model for this experience, since he did it not only once, but four or five times to come back from a long time of injury of six months, or even more,” Thiem said. “And the form was always amazing. So he is a great inspiration.”

Thiem, who says his goal is to reach the Top-100 before the end of the season, says he is ready to start playing with pressure, rather than low expectations.

“You have to start doing it, because the pressure at the end helps you recover the good performances,” he said.

The Austrian says he hopes to be back in the mix at the top of the sport next season.

“I have the belief that I can do it,” he said. “If not, I would give up my career,’ he said. “I was at the top, among the top three in the ranking. And I do have the feeling that I am capable of fighting again for the big titles, for the Slams, and to beat anyone. Otherwise, all this hard work would be meaningless to me. I hope next year I can do it.”