Roger Federer has praised Dominic Thiem and believes he has a long and bright future in tennis despite his recent fourth-round exit from the US Open.
Thiem, ranked eighth in the world, has had a productive year so far, notably being one of two players to reach the fourth round in every major this year, reaching his first-ever Masters 1000 final as well as beating world number one Rafael Nadal in the Italian Open.
While the Austrian did lose to Nadal in Barcelona and Madrid, his win over the Spaniard meant he boasted the distinction of having beaten each member of the Big Four at least once.
However, Thiem recently crashed out in the fourth round of the US Open after surrendering a two-set lead to Juan Martin del Potro who triumphed in a 1-6, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-4 win.
Del Potro will face Federer in the quarter-final now as the latter heaped praise on the 24-year-old despite blowing a chance at the first-ever US Open semi-final appearance, before drawing comparisons with Nadal.
"[He's a] sweet guy. Really honest," Federer said, as quoted on Metro. "Lovely to be around with. Hard working. Super hard working."
"He goes into the Rafa demographic where between matches, they just go really hard. I'm not like that, so I admire those guys that put their head down and work this hard.
"I love his backhand. Played him a few times. Got great power both wings. He's a power player that we have in the game."
The Swiss ace also predicted that Thiem, who has not left the top 10 of the ATP rankings since cracking it in June 2016, will remain high up the rankings for a long time and is capable of winning the biggest events in tennis.
"He's going to be around for a long time," Federer added. "He's going to install himself in the top 10 easily, in my opinion, for the next 10 years."
"I'm sure he's going to create a lot of chances to win the biggest tournaments in the game."