A year after breaking through into the Top 10 with his French Open semifinal run, Dominic Thiem says he finally feels like he belongs among the elite. And his results lately back it up reaching the Masters final in Madrid and Barcelona then beating Rafael Nadal en route to the Rome semifinals.
“At the beginning you feel also quite a lot of pressure, because you don’t want to fall out again, because it brings a lot of advantages to you if you’re in the top 10, because you get better draws, you face the top players in the later rounds of a tournament,” Thiem said Friday during the French Open media day.
“In the beginning, it’s very tough to stay there. You think more a little bit to not fall out again. And now I’m a little bit more confident. I feel that I belong there, basically. And it’s a little bit easier for me.”
Despite his win over Rafa a few weeks ago, Thiem tabs Nadal as the big favorite to win a 10th French Open.
“100% he’s the big favorite,” Thiem said of Nadal. “He’s on the top to win here. Of course I think he’s back at his best this year, and then also he won nine times. So he knows how it works to win here. I will think he will try everything to win Le Decima, I think it will be very unique in tennis to win a Grand Slam title ten times. It’s pretty crazy, I guess. So 100% he’s the one to beat here and the big favorite.”
Thiem begins his Roland Garros campaign Sunday against Bernard Tomic in a rematch of their 2016 Acapulco final won by the Austrian.
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