Speaking on Sky Sport the former world No. 25 Filippo Volandri praised Rafael Nadal's evolution over the years. After the Spaniard's straight-set win over Roberto Bautista Agut, Volandri said: "He trained physically and also on a tennis court.
That's important because once the clay season starts he manages to go until the French Open without stopping. Rafa changed a lot over the years, he improved his technique and his game is much better than 15 years ago. He changed his serve, he became more aggressive, he tries to go to the net more and he also hits great volleys.
People think he has not a good touch but that's not true. It's true that he suffered injuries but he is trying to make rallies shorter like Roger Federer." On Dominic Thiem's abilities to overtake Nadal, Volandri added: "Thiem was one of the very few guys who beat Nadal on clay so he knows how to do it. Then getting to Nadal's level is another thing. But he improved a lot especially outside the clay."