The moving and hitting skills are Thiem’s strong points, but why is he losing so many matches, while playing on his good or even best level, especially in 2017?
I have studied different stats and found the one, seeming to be his weakest point – this is pressure points.
Look on some of them:
The same stats on CLAY
And on HARD
Now all the same as above but against Top10 players
- Thiem is doing the best on pressure points on CLAY, which is obvious. His game is made for clay and he has more confidence on this surface. This makes him mentally stronger against every kind of opponents.
- Thiem is doing worst on pressure points on HARD, which is still obvious, just the opposite then on CLAY.
- Now there is something all but not obvious, but still quite easy to explain. Thiem is doing better on every surface against Top10 than against All Players. This explains, why he has so many losses against opponents, ranked 50. or lower. The explanation is not so obvious but here is my guess. The higher motivation while playing top players and missing additional pressure of being set to win lets his pressure resistance rise.
- In all these stats Thiem is ranked lower than in overall ATP rankings, only against Top10 on clay he stands to his ATP rank. Just because of two factors added: the best surface for his game and the biggest motivation , because chances for big wins are high.
- So what to do?
Generally improve the game on hard
Improve the serve – better less aces or serve winners and higher percentage of first serve. This applies to all surfaces. There is more confidence boost if you know, you can rely on your serve. avoid too many double faults and being principally aggressive baseliner having more chances to extend rallies and avoid winning returns of opponents.
While missing killer instinct and rather playing ball&court than opponent, must develop patience, not necessarily trying to hit a winner all the time.
Maybe work somehow on overall mental strength, taking Nadal as a model to follow. This means to read better opponent’s game and to be able to exert pression on the opponent. Not only by the quality of the game, but also by changing his body language to show the opponent, you can manage every situation, even if you cannot. This may be the most important factor, but – given Thiem’s personality – the most tricky to learn and implement.
If he cannot rise himself on this field, he will maybe always play the -nice-to-watch game but never reach the very top.
Or there is another, but very hard way to make every element of his game. Hard, fast and precise shots, perfect movement, big serve with many aces and winners, better reading of opponent’s game, going more frequently ahead, not necessarily to the net, but at least to enter the court and hit shots with sharper angles. If this is (maybe) done some day, the confidence will come by itself.
A bilingual article (English+German) about PRESSURE POINTS in general is posted HERE.
Deutsche Version des Artikels ist HIER zu finden.
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