Dominic Thiem believes Roger Federer remains a strong contender on clay despite his recent hiatus on the surface, adding he is “amazing on all surfaces and his record on clay is pretty stunning”.
Federer is set to make his return to clay this year following a two-year absence and has pencilled in the Madrid Open and Roland-Garros on his calendar.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner is aiming to add a second French Open title to his collection, but his nemesis Rafael Nadal, who has won 11 titles in Paris, will no doubt stand in his way.
Of Federer’s 101 ATP Tour singles titles, 11 have come on clay, but he has often run into the brick wall that is Nadal on the surface.
Thiem, though, believes the 37-year-old will be among the challengers in Madrid and Paris.
“He’s one of the three top favourites [along with Nadal and Novak Djokovic],” he is quoted as saying by Metro.co.uk.
“First of all he is amazing on all surfaces and his record on clay is pretty stunning. He reached so many semi-finals and finals.
“If there wouldn’t be Rafa he would be on six or seven French Open titles. That was his only problem, I would say.
“He’s playing amazing tennis again. He won Dubai, finals Indian Wells, he won Miami. He just has to adjust on the clay, I think he’s practising now on the clay and I think he will come out very strong in Madrid and French Open.”
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