Things seem to be falling perfectly in place for Dominic Thiem these days. While most players are struggling with the unusual conditions and experience of playing at the French Open 2020, the reigning US Open champion ‘loves the conditions’ this year. 12-time champion Rafael Nadal, himself has been vocal about unfavorable conditions.
The Austrian star opened up on how he is adjusting to playing in a lot cooler conditions at Roland Garros this year. For Thiem, he has been playing in such weather and temperatures all his life. That was quite evident in his comfortable first-round win at the French Open 2020 over a tough opponent like Marin Cilic.
“I love the conditions, because, well, I’m from Austria. So I know how it is to play in these cold conditions. Back in juniors and when I started to play Futures, it was always like that. 10-15 degrees, cold,” Thiem said after his match on Monday.
The two-time French Open finalist – in the last two years – made his mark on other surfaces as well as proved by his US Open win. However, clay has always been Thiem’s forte and his past results have shown that. The lesser pace of the game on clay helps him use one of his best weapons – the return of serve – to good effect.
“So I love it when it’s not too fast. I can be a little bit behind the baseline, make a lot of returns in court,” Thiem said further.
There were doubts about his mental and physical preparedness for the French Open, coming on the back of his maiden Grand Slam win just two weeks ago. That too, on a completely different surface. But Thiem erased all those doubts.
“I feel well and I felt well from the first moment I came here again this year. So I’m looking forward to an exciting second round,” the 27-year-old said.
Thiem looked solid and ready for the big points in his match against a fellow Grand Slam champion. He won 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, and fended off every challenge thrown at him. The world number three now faces American Jack Sock in the next round.
The confidence Thiem is exuding makes things very interesting going ahead in the tournament. He is slated to meet Rafael Nadal in the semi-final.