Monfils has a first-hand account of what it is like to face both Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, having played each of them on several occasions. The Frenchman has a 2-14 record against Nadal and an 0-6 record against Thiem in his career so far.
Monfils admitted he struggles to deal with the relentless energy that Thiem brings to every match, something that Nadal is well-known for too.
"What is strong about Dominic Thiem is the intensity he manages to put on each ball and on each point, the physical density he imposes on his opponents is impressive," Monfils said. "It's very hard to master when you are in front (of him) and his physical intensity, it's impressive, it's Nadal's style."
The 34-year-old Gael Monfils, who is currently ranked No. 11 in the world, is confident that Dominic Thiem will cement his position as one of the best players in the world next year after a breakthrough 2020 season.
This year, the Austrian reached the final of the Australian Open in January, losing a close-five-setter to Novak Djokovic. He then won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open in New York and also reached the final at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.
“He made the final at the Australian Open, he won the US Open, at Roland Garros, he has already made two finals, so obviously, I can see him confirming next year," Monfils added.
Dominic Thiem will aim to win his second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open
Dominic Thiem is expected to resume his off-season training mid-December, in his home country Austria. At the Australian Open earlier this year Thiem stunned Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals before narrowly going down to Novak Djokovic in the final, and he would hope to go one better in 2021.
By winning his first Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open, Dominic Thiem has firmly established himself as the player most likely to beat the Big 3 of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Thiem also has a winning record over the Big 3 the last two seasons, having won 9 of his 12 matches against them.
The Australian Open is reportedly set to be pushed back by three weeks to early February, and an official announcement on the same is expected to be made in the coming days. But whenever it starts, we can be sure that Thiem will be ready for it.Published 13 Dec 2020, 16:02 IST