Dominic Thiem's coach claims he is one of the players who can beat Rafael Nadal
What's the story?
In a recent interview, Dominic Thiem's tennis coach reflected on his losses at Roland Garros to Nadal. Over the past two years, the two-generational stars have battled it out in the French Open final, with Nadal winning on both occasions.
Despite, this Dominic Thiem's coach is confident that sooner or later the young Austrian will get the better of the Spanish clay-court master.
In case you didn't know
Of all the tennis players of the NextGen, two have reached Grand Slam finals and only Dominic Thiem has reached two, with both coming at the French Open in 2018 and 2019. Nevertheless, as aforementioned, Thiem faced Nadal on both of those occasions and subsequently lost both times.
The heart of the matter
Dominic Thiem has performed best at the Grand Slams when compared to the other NextGen stars, though many of his peers have made a dent in some of the other big tournaments, they haven't had the success at the slams as Thiem has had at the French Open.
If it were not for a certain Rafael Nadal, appropriately called the 'King of Clay', one imagines that Thiem could be a two-time Grand Slam champion. Such is the nature of the Big 3, however, and they have made a habit of preventing extremely talented players from winning at the Grand Slams.
Instead of taking Thiems losses as a negative, his coach, Nicholas Massu, positively remarked that with experience he will lead to him winning the French Open one day. Massu was quoted as saying:
"As time goes on and he gains more experience, he will do better whether he faces Rafa or any other player because he was there before. You never know when it's gonna happen. He needs to take his chances and he is preparing every day to achieve his dream."
He concluded by arguing that :
"If there is a player who can beat Rafa, one of the guys is Dominic."
Experience is an intangible thing in any sport, nevertheless, its importance cannot be undervalued. Both of Nadal's Grand Slam victories came against NextGen players this year and both matches showed how important experience is in finals.
Now that Thiem has two finals under his belt, the occasion will inevitably become less overwhelming for the Austrian. That isn't to say that he will play casually, but that he will be less fixated on the occasion and more focused the game itself.