The match between Nadal and Thiem would probably not garner as much interest as the one between Nadal and one of the established slam winners such as Roger, Djokovic, Murray or even Wawarinka perhaps. However, this match, depending on Thiem’s performance, could announce the arrival of ATP’s future and should therefore be relished as such.
With the exception of delaying the incessant march of the future, Nadal has little to gain from the outcome of this match . Thiem on the other hand can play his heart out on this one and has nothing to lose. However, the “nothing to lose” mindset can be quite debilitating in the face of a determined opponent such as Nadal and Thiem may just feel overly satisfied at having reached his first ATP 1000 final and not put up the fight that we’d expect from a future number one. How Thiem plays here will reveal exactly where he sees himself in the near future, and if he sees himself as a slam winner and number one within the next three years then there is no other way to approach this match but with the determination to win it.
Interestingly enough these two have met only on clay so far and their H2H is 3-1 in favor of Nadal. Thiem went down tamely to Nadal recently at the Barcelona open with a 6-4, 6-1 showing but each match is different and here’s another opportunity for Thiem to redeem his lack of performance in Barcelona.
Are we going to see the future establish its presence today or will we be stuck with the domination of the Big three for a few more years? As much as we all love Federer, Nadal and Djokovic it is also time for the new guns to take the center stage and win some big matches on the bigger stages of Maters 1000s, and Slams.
Conclusion: Nadal in 3