Spanish Tennis Icon Rafael Nadal, arguably one of the greatest tennis players has 19 Grand Slams to his name. Additionally, 12 of them are from Roland Garros.
Wolfgang Thiem, the coach, and father of Austrian Dominic Thiem shared secret to defeating Nadal. He said, “To beat Rafael Nadal, you have to be aware. And Dominic already has it. You need to concentrate on the first ball.”
Rafael Nadal – Dominic Thiem Rivalry
Moreover, Dominic is a lover of the clay court. The world number three is already a two-time finalist at the Roland Garros, losing both times to Nadal.
Furthermore, he was also able to give Nadal a tough competition at the US Open in 2018. Hence, coach and father Wolfgang are sure that son Dominic will able to turn the rivalry table towards himself.
He said, “He had to play a few games with Rafael to realize this. You probably remember how they played together at the US Open 2018. And Dominic Thiem lost the last set 6-7. Even then, he was very close to winning. The meeting in Melbourne was also very close.”
Further, he added, “Dominic might as well have lost this match. It was an unbelievable match. Dominic won the first set 6-0!
Adding on, he also said, “It was a great example of how the athletes lift themselves on the competition.”
He also believes that intensity is an integral element in defeating Nadal, especially on his favorite clay surface. “Against Rafa, you have to be 100% concentrated, ready, and showing full intensity. It is the only way to beat Nadal, especially on a clay surface.”
Additionally, while Dominic is currently ranked 3rd, Nadal is in the 2nd position, which shows that both share a good rivalry in the past two to three years.