Dominic Thiem's honest message for Rafael Nadal ahead of Brisbane match

Thiem and Nadal set to meet in the Brisbane first round.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Dominic Thiem's honest message for Rafael Nadal ahead of Brisbane match
© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Dominic Thiem is happy to see Rafael Nadal back in action but underlines that he will be very motivated and determined to beat the 22-time Grand Slam champion in his Brisbane International return. 

Thiem, a former world No. 3, won two qualifying matches in Brisbane to reach the main draw. When Thiem was placed in the main draw, he learned that he would be playing against Nadal in the Spaniard's first match since his hip surgery. 

Thiem, 30, and 37-year-old Nadal have a history as just a couple of years ago they had one of the best rivalries on the Tour. Going into their Brisbane match, Nadal leads their head-to-head 9-6 but Thiem won the last two times they played against each other.

"For me, tomorrow's match is one I want to win, but of course, I'm glad that Rafa is back, and his injury is healed," Thiem said, via The Sydney Morning Herald.

Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal
Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Daniel Kalisz
 

Thiem excited to play against Nadal for the first time since 2020

Due to injuries and some other factors, Thiem and Nadal didn't meet for a single time during the past three seasons. Their last meeting came in the group stage of the 2020 ATP Finals - which Thiem won in two sets.

"It's been a long time since we last played against each other, so it will certainly be interesting," Thiem added. 

Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal
Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

In Australia, Thiem has already beaten Nadal. In 2020, Thiem edged out Nadal in four tight sets in the Australian Open quarterfinal. On Tuesday, Thiem will be looking to clinch his second win over Nadal in Australia and also his third consecutive win against the former world No. 1.

Considering that Thiem has already won two matches in Brisbane, he should be prepared well for the Nadal match. On the other side, Nadal returned to competitive action on Sunday by playing in a doubles match - he and Marc Lopez lost to Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson. 

The Thiem and Nadal match is set to highlight Tuesday's action in Brisbane and it will be interesting to see who finishes on the winning side.

Dominic Thiem Rafael Nadal
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