French Open: No difference between Djokovic and Thiem, claims Nadal's coach
One of Rafael Nadal's coaches, Franciso Roig, has said there is "no difference" between Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem when it comes to clay court ahead of the French Open
The 2021 French Open is due to begin on May 24 and will go on till June 13. Roig will be a part of Nadal's team as the reigning champion is set to begin his quest to win a record 14th title at the Stade Roland Garros.
While it is difficult to imagine Nadal being dethroned in Paris, Roig has insisted that Austrian tennis star Thiem could threaten Nadal at his fortress. In an interview with ATP's official website, Roig has explained that even though Thiem has been experiencing a low run since winning the US Open last year, he is still a "complete player" who always offers a physically demanding contest.
"Novak Djokovic is still the rival, perhaps, who can cause more problems, along with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem. Of course, if Thiem regains the rhythm and confidence that he usually shows on clay, I would say that I do not see differences between him and Djokovic. Since he won the US Open, he has dropped a bit, but I'm sure that for Roland Garros, he will be at the necessary level and will be a very tough opponent. He is a very complete player, who demands a lot in each hit, if you leave the ball a little short, the point is over. On a physical level, he is very demanding," Roig told ATP's official website.
Ahead of the upcoming edition of the French Open, Nadal holds a 9-6 lead in the head-to-head against Thiem, who is coming off back-to-back Round of 16 losses at the Italian Open and Lyon Open. Meanwhile, Nadal is high on morale after beating Djokovic to clinch his 10th trophy in Rome last week.
Meanwhile, Roig has also insisted that Nadal must improve his serve for the French Open, before admitting that the Spaniard has bettered it in recent games.
"Looking ahead to Roland Garros, I think a little more mobility is important. At the level of aerobic capacity, he has been very good, holding out in games, but I think we have room for improvement when moving. It can still be a more dynamic point, both forward and in lateral mobility. And the serve must also be worked on, although it has gotten better and better," he added. "In fact, against Djokovic, he was already pretty good, " added Roig in the same interview.