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The Real Test For Dominic Thiem Begins Now

It was a somber day at Stade Roland Garros as rain played havoc and all matches scheduled were postponed to Thursday. As many tennis fans around the world prayed for the rain gods to have mercy, Dominic Thiem would have sat back on his unannounced off day knowing full well the test that beckons him.

So far, Dominic Thiem has looked his strong self, the one we’ve been used to since the last three years. There were scratchy moments for the Austrian in the first three rounds winning every one of those in four sets, but when faced with a greater challenge in the fourth round in the form of Gael Monfils, Thiem responded with no leniency.

The Austrian knocked out the Frenchman with a bullish performance, the final scoreline reading 6-4 6-4 6-2 showcasing no baggage of the presser incident. On the contrary, it may have prompted him to reach greater levels. And he’s going to need to do exactly that.

Without any doubt, the French Open is Thiem’s best Major and maybe his best chance of winning a Grand Slam. Rafa or no Rafa, Thiem has to believe he can be the last man standing. His coach, Nicolas Massu certainly believes so in a recent interview, “Obviously, if everyone else sees him as eventually winning Roland Garros, I also see it that way. Just looking at his record, it isn’t a matter of if, but when. It might be this year, the next, or the one after. But we’re talking about someone who has the potential to do it. That’s an advantage because it means that he has done things well enough for people to picture it happening.”

Thiem knows well enough Karen Khachanov will be a tough nut to crack in the quarter-finals. The pre-match consensus certainly places him as the favourite, but stranger things have happened and Thiem wouldn’t want to become the first major upset on the men’s side of the draw. On his path to glory, the Big Three of men’s tennis still linger posing a difficult last question.

When you factor in that Thiem has notched at least two wins against all members of the Big Three, there remains no reason for naysayers to say why he can’t win the French Open from here. A dominant performance against Khachanov on Thursday would be an ideal start to reach his fourth consecutive semifinal here at Roland Garros.

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