Dominic Thiem will have a slightly delayed start to his clay season

ATP

he said he is feeling pretty good, with his big goal being Roland Garros.

“The break was good for me, I needed it. But now it’s time to come back. Madrid is a very good place for me, I have very good memories of this tournament. The conditions suit my game very well. I’m happy to be here and I hope to play well,” said Thiem, who has completed a month and a half off the tour.

The Austrian is yet to play on clay and is looking to get back to his best form, having failed to do so last year and challenge for Roland Garros to the end, something he did in 2018 and 2019, but was stopped both times by Rafael Nadal in the final.

“I prepared a lot in Austria, did a lot of physical training and a lot of tennis training. I think I’m at a good level, probably in better shape than I was a year ago.”

Thiem was also asked to comment on Nadal, the player who has denied him Roland Garros twice, with the Austrian speaking highly of him, “I think he is improving his game all the time. He has improved every aspect of his game. That’s what you have to do to have success every year. That’s why he’s such a great role model.

My goal is to play enough matches until Roland Garros and then from there I want to give myself the best chance there. I want to be in my best shape when I get to Roland Garros, in my best tennis shape, to have the best chance to go far.”

Thiem will start his Madrid Open commitments from the second round, where he will face a player from the qualifying draw.