US Open 2020 champion Dominic Thiem doesn’t see himself as the number 1 candidate for winning the French Open 2020. Yes, you read it right. Despite his terrific comeback victory at the finals of US Open 2020, the 27-year-old Austrian believes that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will start as favorites to win the French Open 2020.
“Nadal and Djokovic are also the absolute favorites in Paris,” said the World No.3 Thiem in a recent interview.
Also Read: Why is it difficult for Nadal to win the French Open 2020?
Thiem admitted that irrespective of form, Nadal is not someone who can be neglected, especially when it comes to playing on clay. The 34-year-old Spaniard recently lost to Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the quarters of the Italian Open 2020. It will be the first time in 12 years that the World No.2 Nadal will play the French Open without having won a title on clay.
‘He’s the best player of all time on clay’- Dominic Thiem on Rafael Nadal
“He (Nadal) had no hardships with the New York trip, he trained on the sand the whole time. He’s the best player of all time on clay,” said the US Open 2020 winner.
Thiem had faced Nadal in the last two finals of the French Open. Nadal won on both occasions. However, Thiem was able to breach Nadal’s fortress at the Australian Open 2020, in the quarters of the tournament. He was later defeated in the final by Novak Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal holds the record for winning the most number of French Open titles. If he wins this time too, it will be a hat-trick for him, and increase his tally to 13. However, Djokovic’s unbeaten run in 2020 and thiem’s excellent form could prove to be a barrier for him this time.
Nadal hasn’t played a Grand Slam match since January 2020, as he decided not to play at the US Open 2020. So the question is will Nadal be able to turn the tables once again at the French Open 2020?
Read More: Djokovic reveals that it would be strange not facing Nadal at the finals of Italian Open 2020
‘I really like him’- Dominic Thiem on Alexander Zverev
“Yes, it hurt me because I know how he felt. I really like him, so it would have been easier against other players,” said Thiem, talking about his US Open 2020 opponent, Alexander Zverev.
He even praised the youngster for his exceptional performance at the final. The respect between the two was visible on the court as well. When Alexander Zverev lost the final in the tie-breaker of the 5th set, it was Thiem who consoled him on the court. The pair share a friendly relationship.
Fans believe that both Thiem and Zverev have a bright future and will continue to entertain us even after the Big Three’s time.
“I wish him (Zverev) from the bottom of my heart that he will soon win a Grand Slam tournament,” concluded the Austrian player.
(Quotes have been translated from German using Google Translate)