Thiem hopes to build on Australian Open brilliance
Dominic Thiem is eager to build on his superb Australian Open showing when he returns to action on Tuesday.
The Austrian, who lost a five-set thriller to world number one Novak Djokovic in the final in Melbourne, will be back on his favoured clay at the Rio Open presented by Claro.
Thiem is the top seed at the ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro and will start against local wildcard Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves.
The world No.4 is in high spirits after reaching his first hard-court grand slam final, commenting: “I feel great about the performance in Melbourne. It was a hell of a two weeks, beating three top 10 guys and then losing to Novak Djokovic 6-4 in the fifth.
The 2017 Rio Open champion is participating in the Latin Swing for the fifth consecutive year and insists that playing on clay won’t affect his preparation for hard-court ATP Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami next month.
“For me, it’s no problem to [play] on clay for one or two weeks and then switch back to hard courts. Coming on clay is like coming home,” Thiem said. “I like the surface and also really like South America. It’s a completely different atmosphere.
“I’ve had great experiences, won here, won Buenos Aires twice, so it’s very easy for me to come back here.”