Austria’s Dominic Thiem has said that he loves playing the Madrid Masters but then added that he has always had trouble playing the Rome Masters after Madrid.
Last week, Thiem made the Madrid Masters semifinal before losing to eventual champion Alexander Zverev.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s always a great experience playing in Madrid. I love that tournament. Health-wise everything is fine. Before Madrid I had like two and a half, three weeks really tough practice, so I got used to it again. Also got blisters on the hand. That’s why I was taping. Usually I only get them on the feet. Now that I started on clay again, I also got them on the hand,” Thiem said.
“Beside that, everything is fine. The knee, which was causing me troubles in the preparation, is pain-free. Everything is good. Also I recovered quite well after the four matches.”
Thiem doesn’t like playing with a tape
“I don’t like it too much because I’m not used to it. But the blisters came quite in the beginning of the practice period, so I was practicing like two weeks, one and a half with the tape, so I got used to it a little bit,” Thiem said.
“Still I hope I can play without from here in Rome on just because the feeling is better, as I never played with tape on my hands. I like it more without.”
Thiem’s best result in Rome came in 2017, when he made the semifinal.
“I always had some kind of little troubles here after coming from Madrid. Luckily I was always playing well in Madrid, so didn’t have so much time to prepare. It’s from altitude to sea level. I think it’s a different type of clay, as well. Way slower, obviously. So completely different conditions,” Thiem said.
“But yeah, I hope that I can do better than the last two times when I played here. I lost both times my first match. Yeah, we’ll see. I have a tough opponent. I’ll try my best. Hopefully can play as well as in Madrid.”