Since the start of this year's French Open, the men's title has been seen as a three-way race between Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem. While Nadal has owned Roland Garros over the past 15 years, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has been a champion here once and is widely regarded as one of the best claycourters after Nadal, with an 83% win-loss record at the French Open (68-14).
Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem has firmly entrenched himself in the conversation after reaching the final in Paris the last two years. Thiem has won 10 of his 17 career titles on clay, and his chances to win a first French Open title have been greatly bolstered by his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last month.
Over the first five days of the tournament, all three players have been in great form in Paris. Thiem and Nadal are through to the fourth round without dropping a set, while Djokovic hasn't dropped a set in his first two matches either.
Alex Corretja picks Dominic Thiem over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to win the French Open
Former World no. 2 Alex Corretja, a two-time finalist at the French Open, is now backing the Austrian World No. 3 to follow up on his US Open win and go all the way in Paris.
“Dominic Thiem looks unbelievable. It’s nearly impossible to hurt his game. And he had the toughest draw of the favourites by far,” Corretja said on Eurosport after the Austrian advanced to the last 16.
"In my opinion, he’s clearly the favorite to win the tournament. Even with Rafael Nadal, even with Novak Djokovic. There’s still a while to go, and Rafa might raise his level, but I really think Dominic is difficult to beat in these conditions,” he added.
Corretja, who won the ATP Tour Finals in 1998, had a pretty solid game himself when he played on the tour. But he is clearly very impressed with Dominic Thiem's game, saying he would have loved to have a forehand like the Austrian.
“I would have paid millions to have Dominic Thiem’s forehand because it’s amazing how he covers the court. His backhand is also great, it’s one of the best shorts on the tour. His forehand is dictating so much, it gives so much height to the ball," Corretjra said.
"And from the backhand side, he used to play it flatter but now he’s giving it a bit more spin. His kick serve is just a joke, he’s kicking the serve and serving nearly 200kph. This is unbelievable. I’m a big fan," Corretja added.
Dominic Thiem will next play French wild card Hugo Gaston in the fourth round on SundaPublished 03 Oct 2020, 19:44 IST