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  • {Live} Streaming of Rafael Nadal v/s Dominic Thiem Semifinal French Open 2017

    Reporter: Aditya Soni
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    Live Streaming of Rafael Nadal v/s Dominic Thiem Semifinal French Open 2017

    Can Dominic Thiem complete a changing of the guard at the top of men’s tennis by beating Rafael Nadal?

    It’s no secret that Grand Slam tennis has been dominated by five players over the past decade, with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka winning an incredible 50 majors between them.

    With three of them in the semi-finals, it looks as if No. 51 is coming their way, despite all of them being in their 30s.

    In Open Era history there have only been three occasions where three men aged 30 or over have reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam event – two of them have come in the first two majors of this year.

    The game is certainly getting older.

    It’s no surprise given the advances in sport science, nutrition and so on that players are able to elongate their careers and Federer has targeted playing until he’s 40.

    The Swiss has been a revelation since returning to action in January, aged 35, while Murray, Nadal, Wawrinka and Djokovic are all 30+ and are still the most revered names in the game.

    Watch  Streaming of Rafael Nadal v/s Dominic Thiem Semi final Live Stream French Open 2017

    No. of Grand Slam titles of world top-five

    Federer: 18 (Australian Open x 5, French Open, Wimbledon x 7, US Open x 5)
    Nadal: 14 (Australian Open, French Open x 9, Wimbledon x 2, US Open x 2)
    Djokovic: 12 (Australian Open x 6, French Open, Wimbledon x 3, US Open x 2)
    Murray: 3 (Wimbledon x 2, US Open)
    Wawrinka: 3 (Australian Open, French Open, US Open)

    A generation that includes the likes of Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori has struggled to wrestle any sort of control on the biggest stage – although a lengthy top-10 stay is nothing to be ashamed of – and it has seemed at times as if the old guard could continue to reign supreme for another five years.

    And yet, there are signs that the next generation of stars can breakthrough in 2017, with Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev the three most prodigious talents knocking on the door.

    Zverev, Kyrgios & Thiem rankings

    Thiem: 7
    Zverev: 10
    Kyrgios: 19

    All are inside the top-20, two are inside the top-10, one of them has now made back-to-back French Open semi-finals.

    Thiem has beaten Nadal, Djokovic and Murray on clay already this year, while Kyrgios thumped Djokovic in back-to-back matches in Acapulco and Indian Wells.

    Zverev became the first man born in the 1990s to win a Masters 1000 title – beating Djokovic in Rome – with the events so ruthlessly dominated by the ‘Big Four’ over the past decade.

    Zverev won a Masters title in Rome (Picture: Getty)

    Kyrgios, of course, burst onto the scent with a memorable win over Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon back in 2014 but has failed to kick-on much further in majors since reaching the quarter-finals there and at the Australian Open just six months later.

    Zverev, who has joined Thiem in the top-10 this month, has failed to get beyond the third round of a Slam – although he is the youngest of the trio and did take Nadal to five at the Australian Open at the start of this year.

    But world No. 7 Thiem has proven he’s ready to break the stronghold of the ‘Big Four’ and Stan – at least on clay – and he’s now chasing what would be an incredible back-to-back success.

    Djokovic was knocked out (Picture: Getty)

    The sixth seed blew Djokovic away in the quarter-finals to pull off the biggest result of his career, ending a run of five straight defeats against the Serb and confidently bagelling him in the final set – Djokovic’s first 0-6 set at a major since 2005.

    This was no fluke. Thiem is the real deal on this surface.

    He will bemoan his luck at having to beat Djokovic, Nadal and either Murray or Wawrinka in an attempt to win his first major but there will be genuine concerns among the camps of all three that the 23-year-old can complete a changing of the guard in Paris.

    Nadal will have to be wary against Thiem (Picture: Getty)
    Whether or not Thiem beats Nadal, he will be viewed as one of the most dangerous opponents on the surface from here on in but considering he was branded as the third-favourite for the title heading into the event, it appears to be a tag he’s more than capable of dealing with.

    It’s clear it’s at home at Roland Garros, with Thiem describing it as ‘a fast clay court that fits my game very well’, and the velocity with which he thrashes his groundstrokes will cause a problem for anyone on his day – even the great Nadal.

    While improvements can be made on other surfaces – which will be essential for a charge towards the top-five – Thiem can win multiple Grand Slams on clay.

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