Australian Open 2020: Quick Hit – Thiem’s Edge in the last Semifinal

Sascha Zverev certainly has some edges going into this semifinal match.  He is a bit younger than Dominic Thiem, he has a bigger serve, and he won the 2018 World Tour Finals.  Zverev has also only dropped one set en route to this semifinal so he should be physically fresh.  Beyond that, he is playing for a cause greater than himself.

Dominic Thiem is coming off his first win in a Grand Slam event over his number one rival and French Open nemesis Rafael Nadal.  Thiem could be ripe for a letdown after such a big win.  Also, his hard court resume is not great prior to last year’s Indian Wells.  Thiem has however won two grand slam semifinal matches.  He knows how to reach a major final.  That edge may not be much, but there is no wondering if he can win at this stage in his mind.  Thiem beat Novak Djokovic 7-5 in the 5th set of the 2019 French Open semifinal round.

Zverev needs 3 sets to reach his first major final.  He certainly can win this match, but in his mind, he has never won a match like this.  After the 2011 Australian Open final in which Novak Djokovic crushed Andy Murray, Mats Wilander said something along the line of the player who has won majors has to be favored until a player proves he can win a major.  I don’t think that line is quite as stark in terms of reaching a major final for the first time.  Still, Thiem has won against great competition in a similar spot less than one year ago.  That gives Thiem a tiny edge in my view.

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