Back-to-back French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem says he is absolutely in favor of introducing the Hawk-Eye system on clay as he believes the game could only benefit from it. On Friday, No. 3 seed Thiem continued his strong campaign at the French Open as he saw rising Norwegian star Casper Ruud 6-4 6-3 6-1 to reach the round-of-16 at Roland Garros.
But Ruud left the court unhappy as he thought that on two occasions the chair umpire made a big mistake. After the match, world No. 3 Thiem admitted the chair umpire made a mistake that benefited him. "I would support 100% Hawk-Eye on clay, because at the match from Denis (Shapovalov) against Roberto (Carballes Baena) yesterday there was a mistake, and then today in my match there was a mistake in my favor actually.
Casper showed me the mark on his phone after the match in the first game of the second set," Thiem said after beating Ruud, per Jose Morgado. "I mean, it's not the umpire's mistake, because sometimes you just cannot see the mark.
It's too difficult, especially after the set break, because they clean the court, they brush the lines, so it's almost impossible to see where the mark starts."
Thiem OK with every Grand Slam having a different ending to the fifth set
The French Open is now the only Grand Slam that doesn't have a fifth-set tie-breaker.
Thiem recalled an epic 2010 Wimbledon clash between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, which the American won 70-68 in the fifth set. But the Austrian thinks that will never happen again. "Actually, I like it how it is now, that every Grand Slam has different ending to the fifth set," Thiem said.
"For me, it would be fine if it stays like that, because anyway on clay it's more possible that at one point break is gonna happen. I guess we will never see a 70-68 like in Wimbledon. "Like it is now, every single Slam has something different.
I think it's good stuff." Also, 26-year-old Thiem praised former world No. 12 Feliciano Lopez for still being in a great shape at the age of 39. "I think turning 39 or turned already 39 this year. If you look at his body, it's a joke how he takes care of it, how he looks in general, so fit. I think he never had any bigger injuries in his career," Thiem said of Lopez.