When Dominic Thiem won the US Open last Sunday, he became the first player not included in the Big 3 (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) to win a Grand Slam since Stan Wawrinka's triumph in New York four years ago.
The Austrian had already come close on three occasions, losing to Rafael Nadal in the final at Roland Garros in the last two editions and losing to the photo finish against Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open 2020. Immediately after winning the title at Flushing Meadows, number 3 of the world admitted to having lifted a huge weight from his shoulders.
Everyone's attention now shifts to Roland Garros, exceptionally scheduled for late September due to the Coronavirus emergency. In a long interview with Tennis Majors, Serena Williams coach Patrick Mouratoglou expressed his predictions less than two weeks before the start of the French Open.
Mouratoglou on the French Open
“I’m sure that the fact that Dominic Thiem has won a Grand Slam will make a switch in his head, and in the future, it might change the outcome of matches in the big stages of the Grand Slams against the big players,” Patrick Mouratoglou said in a chat with Tennis Majors.
“The [US Open final] showed how much he cared, how important it was for him, and how much winning a final of a Grand Slam was such a big thing for him. And I feel like now that he has won, he’s going to be relieved and he’s going to play more freely and that’s why I think he’s going to be much more dangerous in the Grand Slams against Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic,” he added.
“I think that we have two guys that can beat Rafael Nadal, which was never the case before. The first one is Novak because I think that Novak is playing the best tennis of his career at the moment. He’s beaten Rafael Nadal several times on clay, many times," Mouratoglou said.
"Even though Roland Garros always been a different story, he has beaten him so many times and he’s very confident and Nadal is coming to Roland Garros with only a few matches," he added. "And then we have of course Dominic Thiem, who is an incredible clay-court player, who has a lot of matches behind him.
He has so many matches under his belt so he’s really extremely confident, with winning the US Open, and with a lot of matches, and physically extremely ready,” Mouratoglou went on.