"It's a joke how tough it is, now I beat Djokovic, on Friday it's Nadal" - When Dominic Thiem spoke on difficulties of winning a Slam at French Open

Dominic Thiem Nadal Djokovic
Dominic Thiem (L), Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal

Dominic Thiem once commented on the challenge of winning a Grand Slam title in an era dominated by players like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The Austrian's remarks came during the 2017 French Open.

Thiem had an impressive run at Roland Garros that year, reaching the semifinals after defeating players like Bernard Tomic, Simone Bolelli, Steve Johnson, Horacio Zeballos, and the defending champion Djokovic. His opponent in the last four was the nine-time tournament winner, Nadal.

Ahead of his match against the Spaniard, Thiem spoke to the media, expressing that winning a Grand Slam at that point felt like a "joke" due to the formidable challenge of facing two tennis legends back-to-back.

"It's a tough question. I mean, so far I have always played way worse match the following day if I beat a top guy. So I hope I can improve that," the Austrian said.
"I mean, it's a joke how tough it is to win a slam. Because obviously now I beat Novak. On Friday is Nadal. In the finals there is another top star. That's why it's a slam is because it's such a tough achievement," he added.

Dominic Thiem elaborated on Nadal, expressing that facing the 22-time Grand Slam champion on Parisian clay was one of the "toughest" challenges of his career.

"I think on Friday is coming the toughest opponent ever here in Roland Garros," Thiem said. "Gonna be the fourth match against him in, like, five or six weeks. Not really big secrets. Well, he's again in his best shape. So gonna be the toughest match what you can imagine."

Eventually, Thiem couldn't get past the 'King of Clay' in Roland Garros as he fell 3-6, 4-6, 0-6 to the eventual champion.

Dominic Thiem won his one and only Grand Slam at the US Open 2020

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem

After experiencing three runner-up finishes at the French Open (2018, 2019) and the Australian Open (2020), Dominic Thiem finally found his footing at the US Open in 2020, where he won his one and only Grand Slam title to date.

Thiem had a fairytale run at the New York Major as he defeated Jaume Munar, Sumit Nagal, Marin Cilic, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Alex de Minaur, and Daniil Medvedev to set up a clash with Alexander Zverev in the final.

In the championship battle, Thiem and Zverev both displayed their best efforts, with the match extending to five sets. However, it was the former World No. 3 who came out on top with a score of 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(6) to become the first Austrian to win a singles Major since Thomas Muster in 1995.

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