Thiem: Time To Be Back

Dominic Thiem took a much-needed mental break from the pro circuit and says he’s ready to be back in Madrid.

The US Open champion has a first-round bye in Madrid and will play a qualifier in the second round. A two-time Madrid finalist in 2017-2018, Thiem says it’s time to be back on court.

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“I mean, the break was good. I also needed it,” Thiem said. “But now it’s also time to be back. I think Madrid is a great place for me. I have only good memories to that 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.”

The third-seeded Austrian is in the same quarter with Monte-Carlo finalist Andrey Rublev. If the seeds hold true to form, Thiem would face top-seeded Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

The two-time Roland Garros finalist spent some of his off-time building a home gym with TechnoGym Austria. Thiem says he’s in better physical condition than he was a year ago.

“Probably now I’m in a better shape than 12 months ago,” Thiem said. “As I said, one year ago we were in the middle of the first lockdown which was completely new situation for everybody.”

Thiem aims to peak for Paris, which starts on May 30th.

“I mean, my goal is to get a lot of matches against top players until French Open, to give myself the best chance possible there,” Thiem said. “It’s the same like every year, no? It’s the same like every Grand Slam. It’s so tough to go deep there. It’s so tough to win it.

“But once I arrive to Roland Garros, I want to be in he best physical shape, in the best tennis shape, so I give myself the best chances to go deep there.”

Photo credit: Manuel Queimadelos/Barcelona Open BancSabadell