Dominic Thiem believes Roger Federer can be very competitive during the clay-court season. The Swiss is playing on the dirt for the first time since the 2016 Rome, starting his campaign in Madrid next month. "He’s one of the three top favourites", said Thiem at the Monte Carlo Masters.
"First of all, he will play on the clay ‘First of all he is amazing on all surfaces and his record on clay is pretty stunning. He reached so many semi-finals and finals. If there wouldn’t be Rafa he would be on six or seven French Open titles.
That was his only problem, I would say. He’s playing amazing tennis again. He won Dubai, finals Indian Wells, he won Miami. He just has to adjust on the clay, I think he’s practising now on the clay and I think he will come out very strong in Madrid and French Open."
Thiem also commented on his expectations for this part of the season: "I expect a lot, of course, like in every clay-court season. It’s amazing. Three Masters 1000 events, one Grand Slam, one 500 and maybe one 250.
Only strong tournaments and I think especially here the draw is a joke – it’s so strong and the level of men’s tennis is pretty high at the moment I would say. I think everybody would have to be full power on at the first point of every match and myself as well. That’s what I try and then, of course, I hope good things are coming in this clay-court season."