In the latest instalment of the battle of backhands, World No.2 Novak Djokovic will take on the Dominic Thiem for a record 8th title at the Australian Open 2020. While it was expected of Djokovic – the defending champion to reach the finals, Thiem took everyone by surprise after reaching his maiden finals in Melbourne.
Will Novak Djokovic be successful in clinching his 17th Grand Slam title and narrow down his gap against Rafael Nadal (19) and Roger Federer (20)? Or will Dominic Thiem claim his maiden major title and end the streak of the ‘Big Three’.
Novak Djokovic vs Dominic Thiem Head-to-Head
Thiem and Djokovic have faced each other 10 times in their career so far with the Serbian leading their head-to-head 6-4. The 32-year-old also leads 3-1 on hard courts.
However, Thiem has beaten Djokovic in four of their past five encounters. He is 4-3 against the World No.2 since breaking into the top 10 in the mid-2016.
In their last match, Thiem outclassed Djokovic on a hard court at the 2019 ATP Finals. The Austrian came back from a set down to win his first hard-court match against Djokovic. The World No.5 will certainly look back at his ATP Finals match in London last year for ways to beat Djokovic.
Dominic certainly has momentum with him against Novak. In fact since being upset in the opening round of 2019 US Open, Thiem has recorded 23-6 win-loss on hard courts.
Djokovic’s run at the Australian Open 2020
Djokovic’s confidence couldn’t have been higher coming into Australian Open 2020, having led Serbia to victory in the inaugural ATP Cup 2020. He is yet to lose a match this year and has 12-0 win-loss record so far. The No.2 seed has lost only one set en route the finals in Melbourne.
Throw in the fact that the Australian Open is his most successful event with the seventh title last year, Djokovic is certainly the favourite to clinch the title on Sunday.
Thiem’s run at Australian Open 2020
Lacking confidence in him, Thiem arrived at the Melbourne Park with two defeats at the ATP Cup 2020. However, he added Thomas Muster to his team, hoping to win his first Slam. Thiem, who won in Indian Wells last year showed he can play on hard courts, too. The Austrian has come a long way to the finals, playing a 5-setter and three 4-setter en route to the finals.
The odds are certainly stacked against Thiem here. Djokovic has a phenomenal record at the Australian Open, where he has never lost a final. Thiem also had to go through two marathon matches in the last two rounds. He did get 48 hours to recover but Djokovic got an extra day off.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in 5 sets