VIDEO: Thiem jokes with Nadal while watching him practicing: 'Decent player'
Dominic Thiem hasn't played since two early losses in Doha and Dubai, not feeling well on the court and struggling to deliver his A-game with all restrictions and bubbles in the last eight and a half months.
The Austrian took some time off the court and recharged batteries, feeling ready to get back at his best in Madrid and chase the second Masters 1000 crown. Watching Nadal's practice session on Monday, Thiem joked with his great rival and a good friend, calling him a decent player.
After winning the 12th Barcelona Open following that epic final against Stefanos Tsitsipas that lasted for almost three hours and 40 minutes, Nadal will seek the fifth Caja Magica title, facing Carlos Alcaraz in the second round and hoping for a good start.
Nadal and Thiem have met 15 times so far, with the Spaniard winning nine encounters. Dominic won both matches against Rafa in 2020 after a titanic battle at the Australian Open and the ATP Finals and will seek the fifth triumph over Rafa on clay if they meet in the semis.