PARIS, May 27, 2017
Dominic Thiem will be the sixth seed at this year’s French Open at Roland-Garros, facing Bernard Tomic from Australia in his opening match. On Friday, the 23-year-old from Austria talked about his feelings entering the top 10.
“It’s very nice to be in the top 10. I’m very pleased that I have been there since one year now. I didn’t quite expect it when I came in the first time last year,” the World No. 7 said.
“It gives you a lot of confidence. At the beginning you feel also quite a lot of pressure, because you don’t want to fall out again, because it brings a lot of advantages to you if you’re in the top 10, because you get better draws, you face the top players in the later rounds of a tournament. So in the beginning, it’s very tough to stay there. You think more a little bit to not fall out again. And now I’m a little bit more confident. I feel that I belong there and it’s a little bit easier for me.”
Thiem is also the only player beating Rafael Nadal on clay this season. After losing to the Spaniard in Barcelona and Madrid, he eventually defeated the king of clay in the quarterfinals at the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome last week.
“The win over Rafa was of course a big thing for me. I played the best player on clay three times in three tournaments. I learned a lot from that matches, so I think I prepared well for this tournament.”
Earlier in the week, Novak Djokovic said that he thinks Thiem and Alexander Zverev are the two players with the best chance of winning in Paris outside of Stan Wawrinka, himself, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray.
Asked if Thiem does see himself able to break into that Big 5 by the end of the year, the Austrian youngster answered:
“I hope so. It would be very nice to break into the Top 5 together with Sascha. It would be amazing, but I think that Rafa is the big favorite. Novak is coming, for sure behind him. And then Murray, you never know. He’s such a big player. He can also play amazing here. After these three I think there are some players who can go very deep here who can make big surprises and to these players I count Sascha and myself.”