Australian Open: Novak Djokovic Must ‘Go Up A Level’ To Beat Dominic Thiem

By Daily Sports on February 2, 2020

Views: 129

Novak Djokovic will have to "go up another level" if he is to beat Dominic Thiem and win a record-extending eighth Australian Open men's singles title, says Pat Cash.

Serbia's Djokovic meets Austrian fifth seed Thiem at 08:30 GMT on Sunday.

Second seed Djokovic, 32, goes for his 17th Grand Slam title, while Thiem, 26, bids for a first.

"Thiem has a real chance," said Australian Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987.

"He hits the ball as big, he can last forever, he is super quick.

"It is really going to come down to whether he has the energy to outlast Novak."

Djokovic has lost only three matches in the past 10 tournaments at Melbourne Park and has eased through this year's draw.

Thiem reached the final after what he called "super intense" victories over Spanish top seed Rafael Nadal in the last eight and Germany's seventh seed Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals.

"Djokovic has cruised through so easily, he hasn't had a lot of tough competition," added Cash, who will analyse the match on BBC Radio 5 live.

"Certainly not in the style Thiem brings. That is the only question mark for me."

Thiem counting on adrenaline of reaching final

Thiem, who has lost the past two French Open finals to Nadal, has 24 hours less than Djokovic to prepare for his third Grand Slam final.

Djokovic played his semi-final against Roger Federer on Thursday night, with Thiem beating Zverev on Friday night.

The Australian Open is the only Grand Slam where both semi-finals are not played on the same day.

"There are disadvantages but also advantages," Thiem said.

"I think it's also a little bit of a challenge to have all the time one day off and all of a sudden two. Of course, I have less time to regenerate.

"But with all the adrenaline and everything, it's going to be fine."

Djokovic has won six of their previous 10 meetings, although Thiem has beaten him in each of their past two Grand Slam matches - at the French Open in 2017 and 2019.

Thiem also won when they last met on a hard court, a thrilling three-set win at the ATP Finals in November, which was widely recognised as one of 2019's finest matches on the men's tour.

"Novak is the favourite and coming in fresh is a big bonus," Cash said.

"I think he will get through but it won't be as easy as people think it will be." (BBC)

•PHOTO: Djokovic

Source Daily Sports

Posted February 2, 2020


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