After having long undergone his law, the Austrian Dominic Thiem signed his first Grand Slam victory over Rafael Nadal, defeated in four sets in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, Wednesday …
After having long undergone his law, the Austrian Dominic Thiem signed his first Grand Slam victory over Rafael Nadal, defeated in four sets in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, Wednesday January 29 in Melbourne (7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6).
Friday, for his first semi-final in Melbourne, he will face the German Alexander Zverev, qualified earlier in his career in the last four of a Grand Slam by beating the Swiss Stan Wawrinka (15 th ) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Thursday’s other poster is a classic that will see Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer compete.
“I was lucky in the critical moments, the net was on my side. But Rafa is one of the best in the world and you always have to be lucky to beat him,” said Thiem.
Unusually irritated Nadal
Thiem and Nadal had already faced each other thirteen times, and if the Austrian had won four of these duels, Nadal had won all those (5) who had disputed in the framework of a Grand Slam, including the last two finals of Roland-Garros. But for this sixth game in a major, the Austrian proved to be too strong for the Spaniard.
The two men started the match by putting all their power together, then they accentuated their blows and finished by striking even harder … Thiem did not let go for an inch in physical combat. At most, they are shown to be feverish when it comes to serving for the match at 5-4 in the 4 th set. “It was a bit special to serve against Nadal to qualify for my first semi-final in Melbourne … I did not hold the pressure,” he conceded.
In the first two sets, Nadal took the serve of the Austrian, who each time managed to come back and win the tie-break. Nadal showed signs of nervousness. “It’s amazing that after a point like that, you can start the countdown so quickly. You don’t like good tennis, ” he said to the referee, who had just sanctioned him for exceeding time in service.
His explosion of joy by winning the 3 th round was significant at the time of his will and his relief. In the 4 th set, it was Thiem who broke this time and was unable to conclude on his serve at 5-4, leaving Nadal to equalize at 5-5 by committing direct faults. But he concluded the 3 th match point in the decisive play.
“Me, I like titles! “Warns Zverev
“No one can imagine what it means to me. I worked very hard to improve my service and the work pays today, at the best time, because it is in Grand Slam that you have to play your best tennis,” said Alexander Zverev after his victory against Wawrinka.
“I was ready to explain to journalists why I had lost in three sets,” admitted the German in reference to the express loss of the first run. “It took me a set to get used to his ball,” he said.
Zverev, who has already won three Masters 1000 titles (Rome 2017, Canada 2017 and Madrid 2018) and won the End of Season Masters in London in 2018, has never exceeded quarterbacks in the Majors. He believes, however, that finally reaching, at 22, the half of a Grand Slam, is not yet “the best day of [his] life” .
“I’m sorry but I like titles! “ , Said the player who has reached the 3 th place worldwide ranking in 2017, becoming the youngest player to reach the podium since Novak Djokovic in 2007.
After his first round, he had announced that he would pay 10,000 dollars per victory and even the entire bonus (up to 4.12 million Australian dollars, or 2.5 million euros, for the winner) in support for victims of fires ravaging Australia.
“It was easy to say after the first round, huh? But it still is! With this 4 million Australian dollars, I could buy cars but there are people who need this money to rebuild their house. My parents always taught me that you have to help people in need, ” he said.