"Rafael Nadal is a great role model," says Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal will be two of the biggest favorites to win the 2021 Madrid Open and during his media day, the Austrian spoke about one of his biggest rivals on clay.

Rafael Nadal is the greatest clay-court player ever, and naturally a big rival on this surface from Dominic Thiem who already played in the final of the Roland Garros. Now, they enter the Madrid Open draw as the first and third seeded and so the Austrian mentioned also his possible semifinal opponent during the press conference.

“The break was good”, explained Thiem to the press during Media Day. “I also needed it. But now it’s also time to be back. I think Madrid is a great place for me. I have only good memories of this tournament.”

“Conditions are amazing for my game. The results were always so good in the past years. I’m happy to be back here and hope that I can also play well”, continued the world number four.

“I was just driving into the site for the first time, saw people in the stands, which was pretty new again for me. Except Australia, there were no crowds anywhere. I can’t wait to play in front of people again.

“Rafa, I think he’s improving his game constantly. I first played him seven years ago in the French Open. I think since that time he has improved every part of his game. That’s also what you need to do to be successful every new year. That’s why he’s such a great role model.”

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ATP Dominic Thiem Madrid Open

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