Home Rafael Nadal: Thiem more worried about THIS player at Italian Open | Tennis | Sport

Rafael Nadal: Thiem more worried about THIS player at Italian Open | Tennis | Sport

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That’s because Thiem faces Italian Fabio Fognini on Foro Italico’s centre court first in today’s second round (11am).

Thiem halted Nadal’s sublime winning run on his favoured clay surface at the Madrid Open last week although went on to lose to Alexander Zverev in the final with a maiden Masters 1000 title still evading him.

But the Austrian – who overcame Zverev and his brother Mischa in the doubles of the Italian Open in Rome yesterday – is not concerned about the Spaniard, a seven-time titlist at this event, just yet.

“I know the draw and it’s unlucky of course to be in the same quarter [in Rome] as well [as Madrid],” Thiem admitted to ATP World Tour. 

“First of all I’m worried about Fabio way more because I’m facing him in the first round which is maybe the worst draw possible here in Rome for a seeded [player]. 

“He’s extra pumped, has an amazing crowd behind him and Rome always gets the best out of him, that’s what’s worrying me first. 

No 8-ranked Thiem revealed the impact of beating Nadal, which he followed up with a first career win over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the final four, and insists the mental boost will carry through to the Italian Open.

“I was struggling a little bit before Madrid with my results and injury, the time of which was the longest in my career so far,” the 24-year-old explained.

“I’m really, really happy it all came back in Madrid. I had some amazing matches, some tough comebacks and some amazing wins. 

“I lost the final but it’s okay, I come here with a big boost of self-confidence.”

Thiem could face Nadal in the quarter-finals in Rome, having knocked the 16-time Grand Slam champion out at the same stage of the event last year.

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