I'm not part of a 'Fab Four' says modest Thiem
By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) - Dominic Thiem says he is not yet part of a "Fab Four" at the top of men's tennis, even though he was only the second player to record five career wins against Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic on Saturday.
After knocking on the door for several years, the 27-year-old Austrian joined the Grand Slam winning club that year when he won the US Open, and at the ATP final in London this week he beat Nadal and Djokovic .
Thiem said he was lucky against Djokovic, number one in the world, in an almost three-hour semifinal on Saturday. He wasted four match points in the second set and then came back in the decisive set of 0: 4 to win 7. 5 6-7 (10) 7-6 (5).
The fact that he managed to shake off disappointment over a double fault on one of his match points and then finish the match with a shot of brilliance to stun Djokovic speaks volumes for how far he has come.
But the number three in the world says he still has a long way to go to measure himself against Nadal and Federer, who have won 20 Grand Slam titles, and Djokovic, who has 17 majors to his name.
"Of course not, I'm so far away. I have a Slam and a Masters 1000 title, that's it," said the humble Thiem, who defeated Nadal in the round robin phase here on Tuesday.
"But I love to play against them, these living legends."
Thiem is now clearly established as an important force in the men's game and winning the end of the year on Sunday against Nadal or the Russian Daniil Medvedev would be another highlight for the man from the ski-crazy nation.
"It's something very special (to have five wins each against the big three), and it's something special to have my 300th Tour victory today," Thiem told reporters. "Beating them all five times is great for me. Every game against them is a privilege and a great opportunity to learn, but beating them is a great confidence boost."
Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray is the only other player to have beaten Federer, Nadal and Djokovic at least five times, and he also topped the world rankings.
Thiem's record against Djokovic is now 5-7, against Nadal 6-9, while he leads Federer with 5-2.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Clare Fallon)
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