Dominic Thiem compares John Isner's serve to goalkeeper facing penalty



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Dominic Thiem compares John Isner's serve to goalkeeper facing penalty

Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem compared facing John Isner's serve to a goalkeeper facing a penalty. Thiem, ranked at No. 4 in the world, clashed against Isner at the Madrid Masters and scraped past the big-serving American.

Thiem lost the first set against Isner but recovered to win 3-6 6-3 6-4 and progress into the Madrid semifinal. Isner claimed the first break of the match in the second game and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to win the opener.

Thiem saved four break points in the fifth game of the second set, before claiming his first break a game later. Thiem then held on to his serve the rest of the set to force a decider. In the third set, Thiem.broke Isner in the ninth game and routinely served out for the match in the following game.

"I think it's comparable, well, to a goalkeeper in a penalty. If he places it well, if it has the right speed, there's just no time to react. You either have to guess or hope that he's missing the first serve.

It's just pure luck actually to return it. It's like a 50/50 chance. That's why it's so, so tough," Thiem said of Isner's serve. "It's not only the first serve, it's the second as well, which has such a high bounce.

Well, you go close, return it, which is unbelievable tough, especially here on clay in altitude, or you go five, six meters back behind the baseline. He has a lot of time to come in the net. "It's just incredibly tough to be a returner against him."

Thiem aims to play less tournaments but win more matches

"Yeah, I plan to play less tournaments. I hope that I still play a lot of matches, no? If I play less tournaments, but play well there, it still means a lot of matches," Thiem said.

"But I think that I just need little bit time off from time to time to regroup, to resettle. I think everybody does it. I mean, when I was 21, 22, my first years on tour, or 23, I also played week after week. You can deal with it, no? Now, with all the years of experience, I think I'm also able to play well after as long a break as I could see here now."