He'll have to work on reining in some of his forehands, and his first serve percentage was fairly low in Set 1, but to say he was not a worthy competitor (and more) for Rafa here today would be unfair.
Great tennis on both ends, and in our humble opinions, Dominic Thiem is a definite future Roland Garros winner!
But let's take a minute to look at JUST how good Dominic Thiem was! Some great powerful groundstrokes, lovely on-court movement, and it's not that his tennis wasn't aggressive and attacking so much as just how impenetrable Nadal's defense was.
FIST PUMP! He's almost done here, and Nadal knows it. After dictating the last few games firmly from the baseline and wresting the reins into his own hands, Nadal is now THUMPING through. He runs to the net with the lightest of touches and Thiem is in no man's land with no clue where to go.
But Rafa's never far behind, and this time it looks like Thiem is flagging. Nadal famously has never really had problems with his stamina - physically or mentally, and he's held easily to lead 3-1. The Austrian is falling back and fast!
Game evenly matched so far - and that's quite the understatement from me. Nadal has edged out Thiem by Thiem's own hand, with the young Austrian prone to - and right now, frequently sending wild loopy shots into the air.