‘My Best Game And A Little Bit Of Luck’ - Dominic Thiem Talks Federer Win In Madrid - UBITENNIS
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‘My Best Game And A Little Bit Of Luck’ – Dominic Thiem Talks Federer Win In Madrid

The Austrian gives his opinion on how he has managed to achieve so much success against the 20-time grand slam champion.

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Dominic Thiem (photo by Roberto Dell Olivo)

MADRID: Once again Dominic Thiem has illustrated why he has the qualities to one day succeed Rafael Nadal’s position as the king of clay.

At the Madrid Open, he endured a two-hour marathon against Roger Federer before clinching another win over the 20-time grand slam champion. His fourth overall out of their six meetings on the ATP Tour. He has now defeated the Swiss player once on the grass, once on a hard court and twice on clay. Joining a small group of players who have a positive head-to-head record against Federer.

“I think the grass court win was in his bad year when he had injuries, so I don’t really count that one.” Thiem reflected. “But this year, of course, Indian Wells, and also now, was amazing.”
“I think I can hurt him with my strokes, especially on his backhand. Facing him always requires my absolute best game and also a little bit of luck, which I both had in Indian Wells and also here (in Madrid). That’s why I won these two matches.”

Now two out of two in matches played against the 37-year-old in 2019, the Austrian is not getting ahead of himself. Although some of his opponents will be wondering what is the key to his successes over the former world no.1? Although Thiem before is more to do with where he is playing and not how he is playing.

“I think his level, especially in the first set in Indian Wells, was outstanding and in Madrid, he was serving very well and I had big troubles with the return, until the third set. That made it difficult.” He said during a comparison of those two matches.
“Indian Wells suits me a little bit because it’s (the ball) bouncing high, it’s a little bit slower. Here (in Madrid) is also a very high bounce, still a faster clay court, but it is suiting me and.’
“I think even a bit tougher to play him on the faster hard court or on the grass.”

Thiem now has an opportunity to defeat all three members of the big Four prior to the second grand slam of 2019. He was also victorious over Rafael Nadal at the Barcelona Open. To score the hat-trick he needs to get the better of world No.1 Novak Djokovic. His opponent in the Madrid semi-finals on Saturday.

“He’s won the last three Slams and he is at the top of the ranking again. So the challenge couldn’t be bigger.” Thiem previewed.
“It’s, of course, a very tough tournament because I’ve only faced so good players and tomorrow is another one. So I’ll try to keep up my good momentum which I have now and give my best again.”

Thiem trails Djokovic 2-5 in their head-to-head but has won their two most recent matches. Both of which were on the clay.

Thiem Vs Big Four

Vs. Andy Murray


Vs. Federer 

NOTE: Madrid win not updated in ATP H2H yet

Vs. Nadal

Vs. Djokovic 

ATP

Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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