‘Only Dominic Thiem can challenge Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros,’ says former coach

Dominic Thiem is the only player who can threaten Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the French Open says a former coach.

Nadal is gunning for his 14th Roland Garros title this year and if he wins it, it will make him the most successful man in Grand Slam tennis history with 21 Majors.

Meanwhile Djokovic is world number one, recently breaking the record for the most weeks at the top, and is hoping he can become the first player to win every Grand Slam multiple times.

Both players are obviously favourites to lift the Roland Garros trophy, however, former coach of Dominic Thiem, Günter Bresnik believes that the Austrian provides the biggest challenger to the top two.

Thiem has historically performed well at the French Open, reaching at least the quarter-finals every year since 2016, including two finals in 2018 and 2019, losing to Nadal both times.

The world number four has also twice defeated Novak Djokovic on the clay in Paris, in the quarter-finals in 2017 and the semi-finals in 2019.

However, Thiem has had a difficult start to the year, taking early exits at the Australian Open, Doha and Dubai, before taking a break and revealing he was struggling mentally after winning his first Grand Slam last year.

He makes his return this week at the Madrid Masters, with speculation over his physical fitness and well-being, but Bresnik believes that if Thiem can do well in the French Open warm-up events, he can challenge for his second Grand Slam title in Paris.

“Dominic is the biggest question mark,” Bresnik stated in an interview with Heute. “I know that he is physically in top shape. The rest is an unknown.

“For the last five years he was number two on clay with Djokovic behind Nadal. If he plays a quarter-finals or a semifinals in Madrid or Rome, then the path will fit. Then he can be right at the front in Paris.

“For me, Thiem is the only one who can really endanger Nadal and Djokovic in Paris,” Bresnik concluded.

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