Australian Open regrets all banished, says Thiem By Reuters

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© Reuters. ATP Cup

By Ian Ransom MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Dominic Thiem spent weeks locked up haunted by his near miss at last year’s Australian Open, but all those regrets were banished after his breakthrough at the US Open, the Austrian said on Saturday. Thiem pushed Novak Djokovic to five sets in last year’s final at Melbourne Park before the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His loss to the Serb was Thiem’s ​​third loss in a Grand Slam final and the 27-year-old had little to do but hold back as the pandemic swept through Europe. He finally managed to fix things when the season resumed, beating Alexander Zverev in a thrilling deciding match at Flushing Meadows to claim his first Grand Slam title. “I was thinking a lot about that tournament, especially the finals lost in the first half of the lock,” Thiem told reporters at Melbourne Park. “It was not a pleasant thought because it was perhaps the best tournament I have ever played.” Well, the US Open title erased everything somehow. “But now I just try to remember all the positive memories and positive energy from last year.” Bookies rate Thiem as the second favorite behind Djokovic to win in Melbourne, and experts expect the Austrian to double his Grand Slam tally in no time. Younger rivals such as Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev are also expected to make inroads into the Grand Slam club. Thiem, however, felt that Djokovic and 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafa Nadal would not stay calm. “If these two guys are competing in a tournament, I think they are still the top favorites,” he said. “A little ahead of the other players, including me. I think, especially Novak here in Australia, because he won it eight times, he is the top seed for the title, hands down.”

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