The Hungry trio
Holland has some great talent at the moment but as the saying goes: “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard!”. With that in mind, here’s my breakdown and opinion of the three top dutch male players at the moment – Thiemo, Robin and Thomas.
Let’s start with Thiemo. Thiemo reminds me of Marat Safin from two aspects, firstly his incredible talent and secondly his ability to make his opponent look ordinary at times. They both play with a head racquet, which is quite ironic from a mindset perspective as they can both can lose their heads from time to time. They also both have similar backhands and have great feel for the ball.
Thiemo had a standout year in 2010, so with that in mind, 2011 is going to be the real test for him to see if really actually belongs in the top 40 of the world as so many are predicting.
From a physical perspective, I would like to see Thiemo get more power and become stronger not just physically but mentally as well. That 3rd round match in the Australia Open against the flamboyant Gael Monfils was an example of the mind and body breaking down in tandem.
Moving on to Robin. Robin hasn’t the ‘easiness’ and talent of a Thiemo for example, but in my opinion has by far the biggest ability to go the furtherest in a grand slam and reach the top 30 for one solid reason – Attitude.
Love him or hate him, He has a certain kind of Lleyton Hewitt cockiness to him mixed with a Gilles Simon type of game.
Robin has attitude, big time attitude, but at times can work against him as I witnessed at the French Open last year against Almagro. Robin can rub players up the wrong way which can work against him. But in all fairness, his attitude and attacking game is what is propelling him to higher places on the rankings.
Physically speaking, Robin needs to take care of his flexibility, he’s a tall guy and any tightness can result in a back or hip issue. His knee has already been a factor.
Last but not least, Thomas. When I first met Thomas I thought this guy was totally uninterested in the game, but under that facade is a player who eats, sleeps and dreams tennis.
He’s looks like a beanpole physically, but has weapons. In all honesty, I don’t know much about him as i only got to see a bit of him at the Dutch Masters last year, but he has a big serve and forehand, but in my opinion needs to get his footwork up to a better level.
Also strength wise, he could do with an extra 4-5 kilo’s and use Andy Murray as a good example what he did 2 years back to improve physical shape and game.
My fear for Thomas is that the more he plays at this level (ATP) and doesn’t get stronger quick, he could be spending more time on the physio table.
Anyhow, I know one thing for sure is that when Davis Cup captain Jan Siemerink meets up with them for next month’s Davis cup meeting against the Ukraine, he won’t have to worry about having players that are hungry for success, because these three certainly are. However, he could attend to another sort of hunger, their appetites, they all could do with some extra kilo’s muscle weight!
Until next time!