It is official: Thiem best surface is Hard Court

Thiem best surface?

  • Clay

  • Hard

  • Yeah... But Rafa


Results are only viewable after voting.

Lleytonstation

G.O.A.T.
It is obvious. Right in front of our eyes. The dirt has hardened and become rock... the Thiem is most dangerous on hard court.

HC accomplishments:
  • Reached two different HC slam finals
  • Only slam came on HC
  • Only masters win came on HC
  • Reached WTF Final
  • beat Rafa on HC at slam
  • beat Fed on indoor HC and HC final in masters
  • beat Djoker on indoor HC
  • Cruised over Med on HC
  • Three 500 level tourney wins
Clay accomplishments:
  • NO masters titles
  • NO clay slams
  • Same amount of slam finals as hard
  • two 500 level tourney wins
The argument can be made that the clay era is weak and that while he has success at RG, he is more a threat at HC tourneys. HC has more competition than clay, so success at RG does not mean that you are better at clay, especially when your results say otherwise.



@Meles and @MichaelNadal
 

SinneGOAT

Semi-Pro
Thiem has had better consistent results on clay, so I say clay. Granted Nadal wrecked him three times in a row these last three years, but if Nadal wasn’t there he would be doing better. He already beat Djokovic last year’s FO, but on hard he hasn’t done as well. He’s only just gotten to a AO final, and just won a hard court slam.
 

Federev

Hall of Fame
I am pleased to hear that. :cool:

Maybe you will someday.
I didn't like Fed till he was done dominating all the time - when he was being overtaken in 2011-2012 and there was some drama to "can he still do it?"

I'm a sucker for the comeback story.

So maybe when Novak is in his last few years and easier - more human-looking.

Right now he just destroys everyone all the time so it's harder for me to see it as compelling.

But yeah - give it time.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Thiem has had better consistent results on clay, so I say clay. Granted Nadal wrecked him three times in a row these last three years, but if Nadal wasn’t there he would be doing better. He already beat Djokovic last year’s FO, but on hard he hasn’t done as well. He’s only just gotten to a AO final, and just won a hard court slam.
The OP really losing grip here.:sneaky:
 

Lleytonstation

G.O.A.T.
Thiem has had better consistent results on clay, so I say clay. Granted Nadal wrecked him three times in a row these last three years, but if Nadal wasn’t there he would be doing better. He already beat Djokovic last year’s FO, but on hard he hasn’t done as well. He’s only just gotten to a AO final, and just won a hard court slam.
He has had some inconspicuous losses on clay recently showing he is not very consistent only consistent at RG.

Yes, the best clay courter has stopped him there, but he hasnt even challenged Rafa. Thiem should have beat Djoker at AO... that is saying something.
 

ravenousRublev

New User
Thiem has only been good on hard only recently apart from the end of last year and this year overall his hard court record winning hasn't been great. Has a 57% win rate on hard 75% on clay that gap too massive to suggest that Thiem better on Hard. Might have better results due to the fact there are more Hard court events and faced Zverev in the US open final. Without nadal he would have atleast 2 FO by now and a couple of masters and it wouldn't be a debate.
 

Beckerserve

Professional
Thiem's best surface WAS clay, but now I'm not so sure. Thiem has made the finals of the last editions of IW, WTF, AO and USO....These are the biggest events on HC, I think it could be that after coming under Massu he is finding his footings more and more on HC now than clay.
Hard for me. Reason is Thiem has lost Masters 1000 final to zverev on clay and lost to tsitsipas a couple of times. His 1st hard court m1000 final he beat Federer. On clay on a bad day he makes far too many errors which costs him. On hard he can get away with errors as long as he serves well.
 

Leandro2045

New User
He has won his first ATP 500, Masters 1000 & Grand Slam titles all on Hard Courts but his best surface is undoubtedly Clay.

If not for the most dominant force in a single surface on tennis history he would be sitting right now with 3 Roland Garros titles to his name.

He's 100% defeating Stan in 2017, Del Potro in 2018 and a past his Clay peak Federer in 2019.
 

Hitman

Legend
He has won his first ATP 500, Masters 1000 & Grand Slam titles all on Hard Courts but his best surface is undoubtedly Clay.

If not for the most dominant force in a single surface on tennis history he would be sitting right now with 3 Roland Garros titles to his name.

He's 100% defeating Stan in 2017, Del Potro in 2018 and a past his Clay peak Federer in 2019.
He would have AO 2020 if he didn't face the AO GOAT also, which means he would have a slam at both HC events.

Where Thiem's clay prowess comes into question is the fact he has failed to even masters titles on clay. If he was at least winning those, his case would be stronger, but currently Zverev has a Rome and Madrid title, and even beat Thiem in the Madrid final.

I think at one point clay was his best surface, I don't think it is as clear cut as that now, the gap has decreased and Thiem is heading more towards the all surface player.
 
He isnt really best at anything

Is definitely worst on the most pure tennis surface he has played tour matches on

He is part of the weakest era. Just kind of the head of the worthless no ones. Still makes him a worthless no one.
 

Leandro2045

New User
He would have AO 2020 if he didn't face the AO GOAT also, which means he would have a slam at both HC events.

Where Thiem's clay prowess comes into question is the fact he has failed to even masters titles on clay. If he was at least winning those, his case would be stronger, but currently Zverev has a Rome and Madrid title, and even beat Thiem in the Madrid final.

I think at one point clay was his best surface, I don't think it is as clear cut as that now, the gap has decreased and Thiem is heading more towards the all surface player.
My issue is that i don't judge players best surface because of M1000 results.

The fact that Thiem has managed to make the Semis of Roland Garros for four consecutive years (2016,2017,2018,2019) tells you everything you need to know..

Prior to this year these were his results :

At the Australian Open : 1R / 3R / 4R / 4R/ 2R
At the US Open : 3R / 4R / 4R / QF / 1R

Thiem Slam/Final results this year at the USO/AO is just a representation of not having a Claydal like figure on those Hard Courts slams.
 

Hitman

Legend
My issue is that i don't judge players best surface because of M1000 results.

The fact that Thiem has managed to make the Semis of Roland Garros for four consecutive years (2016,2017,2018,2019) tells you everything you need to know..

Prior to this year these were his results :

At the Australian Open : 1R / 3R / 4R / 4R/ 2R
At the US Open : 3R / 4R / 4R / QF / 1R

Thiem great results this year at the AO & USO are just a representation of not having a Claydal like figure on those Hard Courts slams.
Which is my point also...Thiem's best surface WAS clearly Clay, I don't agree that is the same way as it was before.

Since he has been with Massu, he won IW, made the WTF final, made the AO final - in these two events he beat all of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic, and then won the USO beating last year's finalist Medvedev. I think it is too close now on the surfaces. His HC result consistency has gone up. He is turning into a more all surface player now, not just a clay specialist.
 

Leandro2045

New User
Which is my point also...Thiem's best surface WAS clearly Clay, I don't agree that is the same way as it was before.

Since he has been with Massu, he won IW, made the WTF final, made the AO final - in these two events he beat all of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic, and then won the USO beating last year's finalist Medvedev. I think it is too close now on the surfaces. His HC result consistency has gone up. He is turning into a more all surface player now, not just a clay specialist.
To put it easier this is how i see it.

Current top levels on Tour :

Hard Courts : 70 | Thiem on Hard Courts : 65
Clay Courts : 90 | Thiem on Clay Courts : 75

It's way easier for Thiem to get great results on Hard Courts because Roger/Novak/Rafa are simply x3 more vulnerable than Rafa on Clay.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
It is obvious. Right in front of our eyes. The dirt has hardened and become rock... the Thiem is most dangerous on hard court.

HC accomplishments:
  • Reached two different HC slam finals
  • Only slam came on HC
  • Only masters win came on HC
  • Reached WTF Final
  • beat Rafa on HC at slam
  • beat Fed on indoor HC and HC final in masters
  • beat Djoker on indoor HC
  • Cruised over Med on HC
  • Three 500 level tourney wins
Clay accomplishments:
  • NO masters titles
  • NO clay slams
  • Same amount of slam finals as hard
  • two 500 level tourney wins
The argument can be made that the clay era is weak and that while he has success at RG, he is more a threat at HC tourneys. HC has more competition than clay, so success at RG does not mean that you are better at clay, especially when your results say otherwise.



@Meles and @MichaelNadal
Bookmarking this thread and coming back after Thiem wins RG.
 

Hitman

Legend
To put it easier this is how i see it.

Current top levels on Tour :

Hard Courts : 70 | Thiem on Hard Courts : 65
Clay Courts : 90 | Thiem on Clay Courts : 75

It's way easier for Thiem to get great results on Hard Courts because Roger/Novak/Rafa are simply x3 more vulnerable than Rafa on Clay.
The last bit in bold. I don't really agree it is way easier, relatively easier, OK I'll agree, but way easier it is not, Djokovic and Federer are hard court GOATs beating those guys isn't a walk in the park and Rafa isn't no slouch on HC either, he has 10 slam finals on HC to his name....so don't agree with the x3 more vulnerable...and if Thiem is more inferior on HC as you say, then that actually makes his task to beat them on HC that much more difficult, than if he was good on it.

He may still have the edge on clay over hard, but I think he has evolved too much now as a player to be shoehorned as a clay specialist, and I think he is only going to improve on the surface with Massu making more and more changes to his game.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
I didn't like Fed till he was done dominating all the time - when he was being overtaken in 2011-2012 and there was some drama to "can he still do it?"

I'm a sucker for the comeback story.

So maybe when Novak is in his last few years and easier - more human-looking.

Right now he just destroys everyone all the time so it's harder for me to see it as compelling.

But yeah - give it time.

Well here you have it. The ultimate comeback story. Couldn't beat Tarot, Pear, or Cappuccino earlier that year. Doubted whether he would ever play again. And here he was, holding the trophy he had dreamed about winning since he was a kid back in Serbia.
 

socallefty

Semi-Pro
I think clay suits his game better, but he is amongst the very best on hard courts also within the last couple of years. On clay, he is better than everyone except Rafa who clearly is ahead of him - this has been true for maybe three years where he has been #2 on the surface knocking Novak out of 2 FOs.

On hard courts, no one is clearly ahead of him if he is in his best form except possibly Novak at his best - but, he is in the same tier as Djokovic, Nadal and Federer at their current age/form and he is not ahead of any of them.

As someone said above, Rafa is so much more dominant than the entire tour on clay that he skews everyone else’s clay achievements negatively as he monopolizes the most important titles - FO, Rome and Monte Carlo in particular. The rest of the tour is left to fight for high-altitude Madrid and smaller clay tournaments.

Let‘s make up our minds on this topic after Roland Garros as we can see if he has closed the gap on Rafa or if Novak and others have closed the gap with Thiem on clay.
 

Leandro2045

New User
The last bit in bold. I don't really agree it is way easier, relatively easier, OK I'll agree, but way easier it is not, Djokovic and Federer are hard court GOATs beating those guys isn't a walk in the park and Rafa isn't no slouch on HC either, he has 10 slam finals on HC to his name....so don't agree with the x3 more vulnerable...and if Thiem is more inferior on HC as you say, then that actually makes his task to beat them on HC that much more difficult, than if he was good on it.

He may still have the edge on clay over hard, but I think he has evolved too much now as a player to be shoehorned as a clay specialist, and I think he is only going to improve on the surface with Massu making more and more changes to his game.
There lies the problem, Djokovic & Federer are Hard Court GOAT's but it's nowhere near close to Rafa's domination on Clay

Reality is that the Big 3 are prone to random losses to random guys on HC Slams, that does not happen with Nadal at RG.

Just the past 3 years :

Djokovic : Istomin, Chung, Wawrinka, PCB.
Federer : Tsitsipas, Del Potro, Millman, Dimitrov
Nadal : Del Potro, Cilic, Thiem himself.

Nadal on Roland Garros : No One.
 

Hitman

Legend
There lies the problem, Djokovic & Federer are Hard Court GOAT's but it's nowhere near close to Rafa's domination on Clay
Yes, this is true, but Federer has 11 HC slams, Djokovic has 11 HC slams, they are not exactly chopped liver either. And if Thiem is supposedly more inferior on HC than on clay, then he is even less adept at toppling two HC GOATs.

Reality is that the Big 3 are prone to random losses to random guys on HC Slams, that does not happen with Nadal at RG.

Just the past 3 years :

Djokovic : Istomin, Chung, Wawrinka, PCB.
Federer : Tsitsipas, Del Potro, Millman, Dimitrov
Nadal : Del Potro, Cilic, Thiem himself.


Nadal on Roland Garros : No One.
HCs also have more deeper competition, and not really fair using Djokovic's 2017 and early 2018...that was his worst form since he hit his peak years, that is like me pulling out Nadal's 2015 and 2016 results to make a point how vulnerable he is. Djokovic also won three out of four slams on HC in last two years.

So while I agree that Nadal on clay is the toughest challenge in tennis, I still think Thiem has naturally improved so much on HC, that the gap in his skill set between the two surfaces has narrowed significantly. The Thiem of 2017 wasn't making these deep runs into HC events, he is now doing all the time. Forget the titles here for a bit and look at the consistency of Thiem getting to the big finals...he has improved leaps and bounds on HC, getting to the finals of WTF, AO and USO cannot be just plain luck or fluke, he has to be pretty darn good on it do it that many times.
 

Leandro2045

New User
The last bit in bold. I don't really agree it is way easier, relatively easier, OK I'll agree, but way easier it is not, Djokovic and Federer are hard court GOATs beating those guys isn't a walk in the park and Rafa isn't no slouch on HC either, he has 10 slam finals on HC to his name....so don't agree with the x3 more vulnerable...and if Thiem is more inferior on HC as you say, then that actually makes his task to beat them on HC that much more difficult, than if he was good on it.

He may still have the edge on clay over hard, but I think he has evolved too much now as a player to be shoehorned as a clay specialist, and I think he is only going to improve on the surface with Massu making more and more changes to his game.
I was exaggerating but the overall data is there, it is statistically harder for the tour to beat Rafa at Roland Garros than the entire Big 3 at a Hard Court Slam and that's across their entire careers :

Since Djokovic debuted back in 2005 there have been 32 Hard Court Slams, The Big 3 have won 25 of them. (78%)
Since Djokovic debuted back in 2005 there have been 15 Clay Court Slams, Nadal has won 12 of them (80%).

From this era there's only one thing harder than beating Rafa at Roland Garros

And that's beating The entire Big 4 to a Wimbledon Title (17/17) 100%
 
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Hitman

Legend
I was exaggerating but the overall data is there, it is statistically harder for the tour to beat Rafa at Roland Garros than the entire Big 3 at a Hard Court Slam and that's across their entire careers :

Since Djokovic debuted back in 2005 there have been 32 Hard Court Slams, The Big 3 have won 25 of them. (78%)
Since Djokovic debuted back in 2005 there have been 15 Clay Court Slams, Nadal has won 12 of them (80%).
I don't disagree that it is harder to beat Nadal, I don't think I need to be convinced of that, I just don't agree that Federer and Djokovic on HC was small chump change in comparison, they are not, and remain the toughest challenge on HC, and for Thiem who was once known only a clay courter to now step up and beat them in big matches, and get back to HC slam finals, Thiems HC prowess has caught up to his clay prowess....and that is irrespective of Rafa, Fed and Nole....just his overall consistency is almost equal across the two surfaces....Thiem made the finals of the last two clay slams, he also made the finals of the last two HC slams. Looks pretty even to me.
 

AlexanderTheGreat08

Hall of Fame
I don't disagree that it is harder to beat Nadal, I don't think I need to be convinced of that, I just don't agree that Federer and Djokovic on HC was small chump change in comparison, they are not, and remain the toughest challenge on HC, and for Thiem who was once known only a clay courter to now step up and beat them in big matches, and get back to HC slam finals, Thiems HC prowess has caught up to his clay prowess....and that is irrespective of Rafa, Fed and Nole....just his overall consistency is almost equal across the two surfaces....Thiem made the finals of the last two clay slams, he also made the finals of the last two HC slams. Looks pretty even to me.
10/17 titles come from clay. Prior to 2020 , All his appearances in the late stages(SF+) was only on Roland Garros. He has clearly improved his HC game and it took him a lot. If HC was his best surface , That wouldn't have been the case , Your best surface is an easier ground for you , so the connection should be formed faster.Thiem felt more comfortable on clay for a reason , He grew up on clay. He would be sitting on 2/3 Roland Garros titles if it wasn't for Nadal , He just happened to get luckier at another major. I definitely wouldn't call him a clay courter , But that's his best surface
 
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