Thiem: “Nadal always improves, that’s why he’s a great role model”

Thiem: "Nadal always improves, that

Dominic Thiem is willing to forget at the Mutua Madrid Open the tribulations and problems that led him to say just a few days ago that he had fallen “into a hole” I did not know if I could get out. The 27-year-old Austrian and number four in the world had to stop competing after falling in the second round of the ATP 500 in Dubai against the South African Harris in mid-March. Congenital discomfort in both knees was weighing him down and he decided to rest, dejected by the poor results of a season where his balance is 5-4 and his greatest success the round of 16 of the Australian Open.

The capital of Spain gives him good feelings (he was a finalist in 2017 and 2019, and a semifinalist in 2019) and he feels like it. “The break was good and I needed it too, but it’s time to go back. I think Madrid is a great place for me. I only have good memories of that tournament. The conditions are incredible for my game. The results have always been good in recent years. I am happy to be back here and I hope I can play well, “said Thiem this Saturday at the press conference prior to the start of the men’s draw.” I have been preparing in Austria, doing a lot of physical work and tennis technique. I think I’m at a good level, “he added.

At Mutua, he is clear about his objective: “I want to get to play many games against the best players until Paris to give myself the best possible opportunity there. It is the same as every year, as before every Grand Slam. It’s so difficult to advance and so hard to win them … But once I get to Roland Garros, I want to be in the best physical shape, in the best tennis form, to have the best chance of advancing there. “Despite all the problems physicals you have had in recent months, Dominic looks better now than a year ago: “We were in the middle of the first lockdown, which was really strict. We were not even allowed to play tennis or enter a court. We only did physical preparation. He’s probably in better shape now than he was 12 months ago. A year ago we were in a completely new situation for everyone. “

Nadal, a benchmark

Thiem praised Nadal, his executioner in those Mutua finals: “Rafa is constantly improving his game. I faced him for the first time seven years ago at Roland Garros. I think from that moment on he improved every part of his game. That is also what you must do to be successful each new year. That is why he is a great role model. “Finally, Dom celebrated the return of the audience to the stands: “It’s nice. I was heading into the stadium for the first time and seeing people in the stands was pretty new to me. Except in Australia, there were no people anywhere. But here the stands were quite full. I think 30 or 40% is quite a lot. I can’t wait to play in front of people again. “

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