Dominic Thiem: These French Open conditions are maybe tougher for Rafael Nadal



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Dominic Thiem: These French Open conditions are maybe tougher for Rafael Nadal

Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem admits playing the French Open just two weeks after finally capturing his maiden Grand Slam title won't be easy but he still wants to make a deep run at Roland Garros. Thiem, ranked at No.

3 in the world, came from two sets down in the US Open final to beat 2018 Nitro ATP Finals champion and finally claim his maiden Grand Slam title at the age of 26. The 26-year-old Austrian has been one of the most successful players at the French Open over the last several years and many expected his maiden Grand Slam title to come at Roland Garros.

"It's not easy, because on one hand I've achieved a life goal, so I was so happy, so relieved, enjoying with friends and family," Thiem said, per Yahoo Sports. "At the same time it's now a tournament coming up where I did great the last four years, where I really want to do great as well this year.

I tried not to lose all the tension. "I did nothing for three or four days, then I started to practice on clay. But I'll see how I handle all the emotions, all the physical challenges which happened in New York. In the past I was not that great playing the tournament after big titles like Indian Wells last year or Vienna."

Thiem suggests the conditions could make it tougher for Rafael Nadal

Thiem made his maiden Grand Slam semifinal at the French Open in 2016. A year later, the Austrian made back-to-back French Open semifinals. Then in 2018, Thiem made his maiden Grand Slam final at the French Open.

In each of the past two French Open finals, Thiem ended runner-up to Nadal. "I had four crazy years (at Roland Garros) with two semi-finals, two finals. I love the conditions here. I love the whole tournament," said Thiem, who is coached by Nicolas Massu.

"First practice yesterday I straightaway felt great with the conditions, with the clay, in the Suzanne Lenglen stadium. I tried to not think too much about U.S. Open, but to see this as a new tournament, as a new challenge."

Nadal is a record 12-time French Open and the best clay courter ever but playing Roland Garros at this time of the year might make it tougher for him this time. "It can be super rainy, super cold end of September, beginning of October. Maybe that's tougher for him," Thiem said.