Fourth seed Dominic Thiem will begin his French Open campaign when he takes on Tommy Paul in the first round on Monday.
Going into Roland-Garros, Thiem must be confident of his chances of winning it all. He impressed in the tournament last year when he made the final. Rafael Nadal beat him in the showpiece event, but that experience will be crucial as he goes again this year. Thiem’s form on clay this season has been impressive as well. He won the Barcelona Open, where he defeated Nadal in the semi-final.
In the Madrid Open, he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. Thiem’s game on clay has improved in recent years. He has a career-high ATP ranking of 4, which can increase if he succeeds in this French Open. Thiem lost in the first round in the Italian Open, and he will be keen to bounce back in Paris. His game is suited for this surface and he can better the best in the game on his day. In the last three years, he has made the semi-finals each time, reaching the final once.
“Roland Garros is the biggest goal in my career,” Thiem said recently. “A Grand Slam title — it doesn’t matter where it is — but I think my chances are the highest in Paris, so that’s why this tournament is always the biggest highlight of my year.”
Thiem will come up against an underdog in the form of Tommy Paul. He has had some successful results recently, but they have been in lesser tournaments. Paul reached the final of the Challenger Tallahassee, where he lost to Emilio Gomez. Before that, he won the Challenger Sarasota. But those are inferior tournaments, and he has not played in a full ATP tournament this calendar year.
This is the first time Paul will be playing in the French Open. Aged 22, the American has relatively less experience under his belt. He has played in all the other Grand Slams before but will be his first time in Paris. His best form is on clay, where he has won six Challenger and Futures titles. The most recent one out of those came in Sarasota this year.
These two players have never met before in their careers. Incidentally, both have the highest winning percentages on clay. Thiem has won 74% of his matches on clay, whereas Paul has been victorious in 70% of his games.
Dominic Thiem vs Tommy Paul Prediction
Thiem will be the overwhelming favorite for this game. He should beat Paul in straight sets to progress to the next round. This is an excellent chance for him to get his first Grand Slam title, and he will not struggle at the first hurdle. Thiem’s game on clay has significantly improved, and he should challenge the likes of Nadal and Djokovic in the latter stages of the tournament. An easy win should be the outcome in the first round for him.