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  • Dominic Thiem Ready to Take on Rafael Nadal in The French Open 2017 Semi-Finals at Roland Garros

    Reporter: Aditya Soni
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    Can Thiem beat Nadal? (Picture: Getty)

    Dominic Thiem has little time to celebrate his quarter-final victory over defending champion Novak Djokovic as he looks to prepare himself for a last-four battle with nine-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal.

    The world No. 7 was simply magnificent as he downed the Serb 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-0 on Suzanne-Lenglen but now faces an even tougher task as he looks to reach his first Grand Slam final.

    Thiem, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2016, is the only man to have beaten Nadal on clay this year, beating him in straight sets at the Italian Open.

    But he believes this year’s semi-final will be the toughest possible match.

    ‘First of all, it’s great for me to be in the semifinals again, to defend that,’ he said after his straight sets win over Djokovic.

    Nadal is a tough opponent to face (Picture: Getty)

    ‘And of course, I think on Friday is coming the toughest opponent ever here in Roland Garros. Gonna be the fourth match against him in, like, five or six weeks. Not really big secrets.

    ‘Well, he’s again in his best shape. So it’s going be the toughest match that you can imagine.

    ‘I mean, it’s a joke how tough it is to win a Slam. Because obviously now I beat Novak. On Friday is Nadal. In the finals there is another top star. That’s why it’s a slam is because it’s such a tough achievement.

    When asked about one of Nadal’s biggest weapons, the forehand, Thiem admitted he had to be mentally prepared to see multiple winners sail past him.

    ‘You cannot defend it all the time,’ he added. ‘I just have to watch that I’m not giving him his favourite positions on the forehand.

    ‘I mean, it’s one of the best shots I think ever in tennis. So anyway, you cannot avoid it all the time.

    ‘I will concede some winners on Friday.’
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