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2 players capable of beating Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, says Patrick Mouratoglou

Rafael Nadal after beating Dominic Thiem in the final of the 2019 French Open
Rafael Nadal after beating Dominic Thiem in the final of the 2019 French Open
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Modified 25 Sep 2020, 12:11 IST
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When Dominic Thiem won the US Open on Sunday, he became the first player besides Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to win a Grand Slam singles title since Stan Wawrinka won in New York four years ago.

Thiem had come close to winning a Major before. He had been to the finals of the French Open in 2018 and 2019, losing to Rafael Nadal on both occasions, and the final of this year's Australian Open, where he was defeated by Djokovic in a tight five-setter.

The Austrian admitted after his triumph in New York that a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. And renowned tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou believes the US Open victory will free up the 27-year-old and help him in important Grand Slam matches in the future.

Dominic Thiem with the US Open trophy on Sunday
Dominic Thiem with the US Open trophy on Sunday
“I’m sure that the fact that he has won a Grand Slam will make a switch in his head, and in the future, it might change the outcome of matches in the big stages of the Grand Slams against the big players,” Mouratoglou said in a chat with Tennis Majors.
“The [US Open final] showed how much he cared, how important it was for him, and how much winning a final of a Grand Slam was such a big thing for him. And I feel like now that he has won, he’s going to be relieved and he’s going to play more freely and that’s why I think he’s going to be much more dangerous in the Grand Slams against the top 3,” he added. 

Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule 


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Mouratoglou says Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem are capable of beating Rafael Nadal at the French Open

Rafael Nadal heads into this year's French Open as the overwhelming favorite to claim a record-extending 13th title in Paris. However, Mouratoglou believes both Thiem and Novak Djokovic are capable of upsetting the Spaniard.

Novak Djokovic at the 2019 French Open
Novak Djokovic at the 2019 French Open
“I think that we have two guys that can beat Rafael Nadal, which was never the case before. The first one is Novak because I think that Novak is playing the best tennis of his career at the moment. He’s beaten Rafael Nadal several times on clay, many times," Mouratoglou said.
"Even though Roland Garros always been a different story, he has beaten him so many times and he’s very confident and Nadal is coming to Roland Garros with only a few matches," he added.
"And then we have of course Dominic Thiem, who is an incredible clay-court player, who has a lot of matches behind him. He has so many matches under his belt so he’s really extremely confident, with winning the US Open, and with a lot of matches, and physically extremely ready,” Mouratoglou went on.
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Both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are taking part in the Italian Open this week, with their third-round matches scheduled for Friday. Meanwhile Dominic Thiem, who has decided to skip the clay court tune-up events, will head straight to Paris for the French Open.


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Published 18 Sep 2020, 19:12 IST
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