Dominic Thiem has been closest to breaking the recent dominance of the ‘Big Three’.
Dominic Thiem believes he can win a Grand Slam in the same era as Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
The ‘Big Three’ have dominated the biggest titles in tennis, winning 51 of the last 59 Grand Slams.
They’ve also won the last 12 Majors, dating back to the US Open in 2016 which ended with victory for Stan Wawrinka.
But there are signs the gap is closing with Thiem reaching the past two French Open finals and Daniil Medvedev losing in five gripping sets to Nadal at the US Open.
And as Federer edges closer to the end of his career and Nadal and Djokovic battle with niggling injuries, opportunities may start to open up for new winners.
But Thiem insists he has the quality to win a Major while Federer, Djokovic and Nadal are still active.
When asked by German magazine Socrates why he wants to win a Slam before one of the ‘Big Three’ retires, Thiem replied: “Because I’m getting better and better in the big games.
“Last year I was in Paris for the first time in the final. Everything was new and I did not have a good idea.
“This year I played my best tennis ever against Nadal for two sets. After that, I was then doomed that I had played through four days before.
“Next time I’m in a Grand Slam finale, I finally want to win it.
“[In the final] I made a small but serious mistake. After [one set each]Nadal was in the toilet, and I stayed a bit too long.
“Then he completely overrun me. I just have to be able to consistently get my performance across five sets.”
Nevertheless, Thiem says he is humbled to be playing at the same time as the ‘Big Three’.
“We are in an exceptional situation: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have all won 16 or more Grand Slam tournaments; more than any other player before,” he said.
“This is bad luck for us young players, but at the same time lucky that we can play in a time with the three best players of all time.”