ATP Tour

French Open 'far away' for Thiem after Barcelona triumph

2019-04-28 21:32
Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem (AP)

Barcelona - Dominic Thiem insisted that Roland Garros is still "far away" after following up his shock win over Rafael Nadal by beating Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's Barcelona Open final.

Ahead of the start of the French Open on May 26, the world number five is now one of the favourites for the tournament.

The Austrian thrashed Medvedev 6-4, 6-0 the day after beating Nadal for the fourth time in his career on clay.

"Paris is still pretty far away, I'm happy with my clay form right now, this is actually my biggest clay title - this one here," said Thiem, who lost to Nadal in last year's French Open final.

"It makes me happy to have won it, Paris is not really in my head."

Nadal has now suffered surprise semi-final exits in his attempts to win record-extending 12th titles in both Monte Carlo and Barcelona this month, while Thiem goes from strength to strength having also beaten Roger Federer to claim his maiden Masters title at Indian Wells in March.

But Thiem expects 17-time Grand Slam champion Nadal to find his best in time for the start of the French Open, when the Spaniard will also be bidding for a 12th trophy.

"I've not changed my opinion that Rafa is always the biggest favourite for any clay title," Thiem said.

"But I love Roland Garros, I've played well there for the past three years.

"I hope this can continue. But I'm thinking next of Madrid."

Thiem fought back on Sunday after losing his opening service game and overwhelmed Medvedev in a 73-minute rout, and will now turn his attentions to Madrid next weekend, where he has lost in the last two finals.

"I go to Madrid playing well and in a good mood," he added. "But the special thing about tennis is that I will start from zero there. All the guys will be strong.

"I need to train well and get used to the conditions. In the matches I must be there from the first point, it can go very quickly in tennis."

Thiem is the first Austrian to take the Barcelona title since Thomas Muster in 1996.

"It's such an honour to win here, only the biggest champions have done it.

"I'm so happy and proud to join Muster here, now my name is on the trophy."

Thiem eased to his 13th ATP title, and ninth on clay.

He hoisted the weighty 13-kilogram golden trophy in triumph in front of a full stadium on a cloudy, chilly day at a venue named after Nadal.

Russian Medvedev needed treatment on his shoulder late in the first set, but insisted the injury was not the main reason for his defeat.

"After treatment, the pain was gone," Medvedev said. "What made the difference was that Dominic changed his style and I could not adapt.

"After that, there was no way back."

Thiem fulfilled the club tradition of the winner leaping fully clothed into the swimming pool on the grounds.

"It was a joy to jump in with the ball kids," he said.

"It's really a great tradition. It's always been my dream to do it."

Read more on:    french open  |  dominic thiem  |  tennis


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