A fresh perspective
The Austrian is far from intimated by Nadal and is oozing with confidence. A factor behind his surge in form could be the impact of Galo Blanco.
The Spaniard, a 1997 quarter-finalist at the French Open, joined Thiem’s mainstay coach Gunter Bresnik at the beginning of 2018 and spent the off-season with the 24-year-old in Tenerife. Blanco’s clay-court prowess helped guide Thiem to the Buenos Aires title in February.
“He’s added some really good stuff to my game. He was a really good player himself. That's why he can help me with a lot of things,” Thiem revealed. “He knows how it feels out there, how it feels in certain situations. It's a very good thing to have him.”
Blanco, having previously worked with the likes of Milos Raonic, Elias Ymer and Karen Khachanov, is relishing the task to mould such an explosive talent yet dedicated pupil.
“It’s another step, another player, different to what I’ve worked with up to now, but truth be told it’s easy to work with him because he’s a hard worker,” Blanco said. “He’s got no problems spending the necessary time on the court in order to improve and he’s open to everything.”