“It’s My Big Goal”: Dominic Thiem on Beating Rafael Nadal at French Open 2021

Published 01/21/2021, 5:19 PM EST
Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem congratulate themselves at the end of the Men Final of the 2018 French Open – Day Fithteen at Roland Garros on June 10, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Rindoff Petroff/Suu/Getty Images)


Prior to claiming his first Grand Slam title at the US Open 2020, Dominic Thiem experienced playing at a Major final thrice in his career. Each time, the Austrian wizard was halted by the liege lords of the sport – Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – on the elite stages of tennis.

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Their supreme dominance and consistency in the sport have always motivated other professionals to keep improving their game and produce their best form of tennis.

Tennis players have always aimed to break the stranglehold of the ‘Big Three’ and they come with a winner’s mindset while playing against the trinity of Roger Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic.

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On a similar note, clay-courter Thiem aims to pull off the Roland Garros title by defeating the ultimate clay-court and 13-time French Open champion, Nadal.

Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates after winning the first set during his Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day ten of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

“One of the hardest challenges in sport” – Thiem on beating Rafael Nadal at French Open

“He’s (Nadal) in a class of his own, and I don’t know if I trust myself to do it. I’ve never managed to beat him there. At other tournaments, I’m confident, because I’ve already done it, but beating him on this center court is probably one of the hardest challenges in sport,” Thiem said“Only two players have managed to defeat him in 16 years. Which is an insane statistic. I think that he’ll still be the undisputed favorite and the strongest player in Paris for another year or two. But still, it’s my big goal and I’ll try again in 2021.”

French Open’s clay court and conditions have always favored the Austrian, and since his junior days on the tour, Dominic has made deep runs into the tournament.

“My biggest goal is the French Open. It’s always been the case these past few years. Because it remains the tournament I like the most, where the conditions suit me best. I played the final in 2011 as a junior. From that moment, it became the tournament I always wanted to win,” Thiem said.

Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates with championship trophy after winning in a tie-breaker during his Men’s Singles final match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on Day Fourteen of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Dominic Thiem in 2020

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In 2020, Thiem entered Roland Garros as the two-time defending finalist, and before that, he had won the US Open in New York and reached the finals of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

However, his magnificent performance at Grand Slams was halted by his good friend Diego Schwartzman, when the duo played an incredible five-set match quarterfinal match on Court Philippe-Chartier.

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Presently, Thiem is quarantining in the Adelaide bubble of the Australian Open 2021 and getting ready to begin his hunt for his second Slam title.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1906 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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