Dominic Thiem wants to ensure Roger Federer remains as the greatest player of all time by stopping Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic from breaking the Swiss star’s records, starting at the French Open over the next fortnight.
Thiem won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open earlier this month by beating Alexander Zverev in the final.
He wants to continue the momentum at Roland Garros and stop Nadal and Djokovic in the process.
Nadal, dubbed the King of Clay, can equal Federer’s 20 Grand Slam titles by winning his 13th French Open crown.
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Djokovic is also a serious contender in Paris as he hunts the 18th major tournament win of his career.
However, Thiem is full of confidence following his American hard court campaign and he has made a promise to defend Federer’s legacy.
“Roger Federer congratulated me on my US Open win,” Thiem told Blick.
“I promise, I will do everything so that Roger remains number one (smiling).
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“No other player can be compared to Roger, he‘s one of a kind, a much more aesthetic and elegant player than I am.”
Federer is absent from the French Open due to injury, the same issue which kept him out of the US Open.
Nadal stayed way from Flushing Meadows due to coronavirus concerns while world No 1 Djokovic was the favourite to win the event but was sensationally disqualified after hitting a line judge with a stray ball.
Nadal is the frontrunner for the French Open title having beaten Thiem in the final in each of the last two years.
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However, the Spaniard insists he is not unbeatable.
“I always have been beatable on clay,” he said. “[Novak] beat me a lot of times.
“But at the same time [it] is true that I had a lot of success on this surface. [The] situation is special. Conditions here probably are the most difficult conditions for me ever in Roland Garros for so many different [reasons].
“The ball completely different. The ball is super slow, heavy. It’s very cold. Slow conditions.
“Of course, the preparation have been less than usual. But you know what, I am here to fight and to play with the highest intensity possible, to practise with the right attitude, to give [myself] a chance.
“That’s the main goal for me. Be competitive on Monday, and let’s try. Just day-by-day. I know this place very well. It is about being patient, being positive, just trying to find the positive vibes every single day.”
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