Thiem's Curse

The subject of this blog article is on one holding immense promise, assuming that the time of the changing of guards in the tennis soon will come really soon (we are thinking of sometime within the next two to three years). He is gifted with perhaps the most vicious forehand on tour, which was the one main reason why he is so dangerous, particularly on clay. Thiem has however failed to make progressions in the other grand slams as significant as the ones which he has made in the French Open. This is largely due to the major innate flaws which Thiem’s game-style contains.

1) The problems that come from his huge back-swing

Dominic Thiem’s huge back-swing can be given credit for equipping him with the ability to hit consistently powerful shots in a more energy-efficient manner than most players (despite it appearing other-wise). Such huge back-swing is also Thiem’s style of generating a great amount of spin. This has given him a game which is made up of a good balance of both topspin and drive, a balance which is typically titled in favour of either for most tennis players out there, including both Federer and Nadal. This comes at a great cost however. The great backswing makes him vulnerable to balls which travel to him fast and low – the courts of three out of four of the grand slams are known to have one or the other of such traits. This no doubt explains his exceptional performance at only the French Open.

2) Too much effort and time being put in each individual shot

This trait of Dominic Thiem's is linked to the above mentioned, in that his huge back-swings contribute to him spending too much time on each shot, although it is not the only factor contributing to such. Although we are speaking about temporal differences that fall into a range of sub-seconds, it must be noted that in professional tennis even a difference of time units of less than a fraction of a second could turn out drastically different results. Players like Wawrinka and Thiem typically perform their best on clay as such, given the precious extra sub-seconds given to them by the slow surface of clay. It is thus remarkable that Wawrinka has won two of the other grand slams. Another factor which is a significant contributor to such trait of Thiem's is his western forehand grip.

3) A backhand too big

Thiem has perhaps the biggest backhand in the history of tennis. This, like his forehand, is a double-edged sword. It has given him numerous opportunities to hit some of the most outrageously deadly tennis backhand winners ever captured on camera. The catch is that the balls needs has to land rather still (by that we mean that the ball does not skid forward). Unfortunately, most of such incoming balls skid forward. Thiem's backhand is thus neutralized most of the time, and could even be argued to be prone to shanks, as is quite apparent according to us. The logic is simple. Try to muscle your way through with a big stroke even in times naturally inappropriate for such, and you will constantly be in hot water.

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