Dominic Thiem is a Grand Slam champion.
It did feel like a matter when and not if, many expected this sentence above to be used following a fortnight at Roland Garros but instead he turns as a champion searching for the title he wants.
Over the last year four years he has been Mr consistent in Paris, back to back semi-finals followed by back to back finals but could he win the title this year around?
If he is going to do it, then it is likely to be one of the most difficult runs in Grand Slam history.
In normal circumstances for top players the first couple of rounds is a chance to find your feet as the saying goes but it always comes with a risk. Dominic Thiem who did play in Rome and has just had a handful of days practice in Paris won’t be able to settle in over a couple of matches.
First up for Thiem is former US Open champion Marin Cilic, Thiem did beat Cilic in four a couple of weeks ago on his way to winning the US Open but to have such an experienced player this early is not ideal.
The experience of Cilic could be followed up by the power and serve of Reilly Opelka from the USA and with these new balls they would be more suited to the American too.
Casper Ruud has been in fantastic form on the clay courts this year and recently made his first Masters 1000 semi-final in Rome and had an excellent week in Hamburg and you’d expect him to be ready for round three.
Then things get tougher…
Potentially Wawrinka in round four, Monfils or Schwartzman in the final eight, Nadal in the final four and Djokovic in the final.. ouch!
R1 – Cilic
R2 – Opelka
R3 – Ruud
R4 – Wawrinka
QF – Monfils/Schwartzman
SF – Nadal
F – Djokovic
These projected paths never do follow the script but is probably one of the worst projected draws Dominic Thiem could have ever asked for.
It will be an interesting tournament for Thiem, first time he is turning up to a major as a Grand Slam champion. Players will know he is under-prepared on the clay, he has said himself he hasn’t had the preparation he would have wanted where as others have had Rome and Hamburg but Thiem who usually packs his schedule has had to pull it back a bit, will that help or hinder his chances with this quick turn around?