Dominic Thiem is set to make his first appearance as a Grand Slam winner at another Grand Slam. Thiem will play his first match since winning the US Open 2020 final, at the French Open 2020. He will not play any other clay-court events before the clay Grand Slam.
As per Lukas Zahrer of Der Standard, world number three Thiem reached his home town of Vienna on Tuesday. There, Thiem will rest for a few days before he starts practicing on clay courts over the weekend. He will also not play the Italian Open or the Hamburg Open to prepare for the French Open.
No serious injury issues for Dominic Thiem
Thiem is also expected to fully recover from the Achilles issue that troubled him in the US Open final against Alexander Zverev. The French Open begins next Monday at Roland Garros in Paris, and Thiem himself is confident of 100 percent fitness by then.
“I’m very sure that physically I’m going to be recovered and ready 100 percent,” Thiem said in an interview recently. However, he is new to dealing with the mental aspect of being a Grand Slam champion. “But the other thing is how I digest the U.S. Open emotionally, mentally,” Thiem continued.
“It’s really for myself a huge, huge achievement, bigger than anything I have achieved so far in my tennis career, so I’m not sure how I handle this. Now I’m still full of adrenaline and happy feelings from yesterday. But once some days pass by, we will see how I feel,” Thiem added.
Transition to clay courts
He was struggling with the injury during the final against Zverev. In the fifth set, he almost looked down and out, as Zverev had the chance to serve for the match. Thiem held on, came back strongly, and won the fifth-set tiebreaker.
It will be interesting to see how Thiem adjusts to playing his first match on clay in a long time, directly at the French Open. However, his childhood (now former) coach Gunter Bresnik feels adjusting to clay comes naturally to Thiem.
Thiem is a two-time finalist at the French Open. He lost to 12-time champion Rafael Nadal in both the 2018 and 2019 finals. However, he enters this year’s event as a Grand Slam champion.