Dominic Thiem emerges as strong French Open contender after latest win
US Open champion Dominic Thiem declared he was ‘pleased’ by his form as he moved into a fourth straight semi-final in the Madrid Masters.
Thiem secured a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over John Isner to book a last four clash against Alexander Zverev, who showed impressive form as he beat the great Rafael Nadal in front of a stunning Spanish crowd.
“I’m pleased with everything about my game,” said Thiem. “I’ve played three very different opponents. Everything is working quite well.
“Goundstrokes are working well. The serve was pretty good all the time. The return today, especially in some parts of the game, was very good.
“I guess that I’m on the right path definitely. But still many things to improve, getting 100 per cent back in the match rhythm, anticipation and everything. I am surprised to be in the semi-finals.”
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 7, 2021
Thiem’s return to form after his injury lay-off suggests he will be a big threat at the French Open, as he reflected on his achievement of overcoming Isner and his super-charged serve.
“He’s one of the best servers in history, especially here in the altitude, it bounces high and it’s so difficult to return,” added the Austrian.
“I think it’s comparable to a goalkeeper facing a penalty. If he places it well, if it has the right speed, there’s just no time to react.
“You either have to guess or hope that he’s missing the first serve. It’s just pure luck actually to return it. It’s like a 50/50 chance. That’s why it’s so, so tough.
“To start with a break down is almost like losing the first set but I stayed focused, kept a good fighting spirit. Very few points decide that kind of game and that’s how I turned things around in the second set.
“It’s not only the first serve, but it’s also the second as well, which has such a high bounce.
“You go close, return it, which is unbelievably tough, especially here on clay in altitude, or you go five, six metres back behind the baseline. He has a lot of time to come in the net. It’s just incredibly tough to be a returner against him.”
Los Cabos: Cameron Norrie eye on third ATP Tour title of 2022
The British number one battled to a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory in the semi-finals.
Citi Open: Nick Kyrgios marches on as Dan Evans is upset
Nick Kyrgios is chasing a repeat of 2019 and a first title since his last DC Triumph.
Toronto draw: Stacked top quarter could be seeds graveyard
The Toronto Masters has no soft paths to glory.
Citi Open: Emma Raducanu falls to Liudmila Samsonova
Fellow Brit Dan Evans also went down in Washington.
Exclusive – Former British No 1 with an upbeat verdict on Emma Raducanu
Durie has backed the young Brit to find her form if she can steer clear of injuries.
Exclusive – Former British No 1 on whether Novak Djokovic should play at the US Open
Jo Durie believes it will be a ‘real shame’ if Novak Djokovic cannot play at the US Open.
Naomi Osaka lauds Coco Gauff as a star on and off the court
Coco Gauff is already a big star according to Naomi Osaka.
Rafael Nadal left with no choice but to withdraw from Montreal
No Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic at the Rogers Cup.