Men’s clay court tennis at it’s very best. Sunday will showcase the men’s final between the two best on clay Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal.
We knew one name would be here on Sunday but the other I had a feeling but I am really happy for Thiem. Before Roland Garros the Austrian decided to head off to Nice and I was sceptical, he won it and is now in the Roland Garros final!
As a contest I can’t call this one. I love watching both on play and despite being soo similar in the way they position themselves on court and their controlled aggression added in with their brilliance at the net but that are totally different.
Rafa is ruthless off the forehand, it literally does not stop and the two handed backhand is also as a big of a weapon at times. People say when you play one of the best go for their weakness but where is Rafa’s?
Dominic is the complete opposite. He plays with that one handed backhand can also pull the two hands on it as well if required. Dom moved from a two handed backhand to a one handed backhand to get the most out of his ground strokes and give himself a better chance and it has worked very well! The forehand is explosive but as a right handed player he plays that more inside out / inside in forehand which does mean more work.
Rafa is more instinctual rather than progressive in the rallies which a lot of this instinctual tennis coming form the forehand where as Dom’s game is more progressive as he uses his forehand to grind opponents down but I feel that if he gets tangled up in the forehand too much Rafa could take him apart if he is in the mood.
This is the 10th meeting between Rafa and Thiem on the tour and amazingly all of them have been on clay even though only just over 2 months of the tour are played on the surface!
Thiem has won two of the last four meetings and in their two meetings this year in Monte-Carlo and Madrid both have walked away with a win with Dominic Thiem taking their last meeting in Madrid in straight sets!
What happens Sunday?
I don’t know, usually I’m sure on Rafa but Dom has planted a seed of doubt and I can guarantee if you would have said to Rafa being Roland Garros name a player you want to skip it would be Dominic Thiem!