Dominic Thiem Eyes Consistency After Masters Milestone
MADRID: Dominic Thiem is refusing to be downbeat about his loss to Rafael Nadal in the final at the Madrid Open in Spain.
The 23-year-old Austrian earned admiration from the Spanish crowd as he matched Nadal throughout the opening set. The displayed featured Thiem going up 3-1 at the start of the match and triumphantly saving five set points. Still, it failed to tame the nine-time French Open champion, who survived the 80-minute set before grabbing the critical break in the second. The close match occurred with the help of a change of tactics by Thiem following his comprehensive defeat to Nadal in Barcelona two weeks earlier.
“I was trying to get my first-serve percentage a little bit higher, then also change a little bit my return.” Explained Thiem. “I think it’s one of the biggest weapons, the serve. Even that it’s not that hard or not that strong, how he plays after his serve, it’s unbelievable.”
Regardless of the loss, this week will is still a milestone in Thiem’s career. At the same venue where he grabbed his first top-10 scalp three years ago, he has reached his maiden Masters 1000 final. He is the youngest player to reach a Masters final since Milos Raonic at the 2013 Montreal Open.
“It was an unbelievable two weeks in Spain: Barcelona and Madrid. I’m going to enjoy the next few hours.”
Relishing in his Madrid run, the Austrian now hopes to compete on a more consistent basis. This season he has won 26 out of 37 matches played and claimed his eighth ATP title at the Rio Open. The next task for Thiem will be the Rome Open, which has already started.
“Now that I did it once, play really well in such a big tournament, the next step is to maintain this level for the next week. That’s what I will try.” An upbeat Thiem said.
Thiem will rise to a ranking best of seventh in the world.