Reigning U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem shared that the French Open is his ideal major tournament after the Austrian star cruised through his opening round matchup against former Grand Slam winner Marin Cilic.
Thiem took out Cilic in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, as he had the clear advantage by winning six out of his 13 breakpoints across the match.
“I really love this tournament. It is, by far, my best Grand Slam tournament so far,” Thiem said, ATP Tour reported.
Despite coming off a grueling five-set finals matchup in the U.S. Open, Thiem remained focused in his first-round bout in the French Open.
“I wanted to prepare well. I didn’t want to lose too much tension after my victory in New York and I am really happy how I did it,” Thiem continued.
Other than the tournament being played behind closed doors, the French Open also adds the unique aspect of having cool weather conditions. There have been temperature measurements reaching 46.6 degrees Fahrenheit and it has affected some of the game’s top stars, CNN reported.
But this hasn’t hindered Thiem as he quips that it’s something he is already used to.
“I am really happy with my first round. I was facing another great champion today. The transition to the clay and the cold conditions worked out pretty well,” Thiem shared.
“I love the conditions because I am from Austria,” he added.
The 27-year-old remains one of the favored winners of the tournament as he’s performed well in the French Open before. He’s faced Rafael Nadal in two consecutive Roland Garros finals appearances from 2018 to 2019. Playing in the new normal under these weather conditions can serve as an advantage for Thiem in the weeks to come.
“I know how it is to play in these cold conditions and back in juniors and when I started to play Futures, it was always like that, 10 to 15 degrees [and]cold. I love it when it is not too fast, so I can be a little bit behind the baseline and make a lot of returns in court. I feel well and I felt well from the first moment I came here again this year. I am looking forward to an exciting second round,” Thiem added.
The Austrian is aiming to continue his consistent play in his upcoming second-round matchup against American Jack Sock.