Clay court season is nice. Clay court season with Dominic Thiem is better!
And it couldn’t come at a nicer time!
We are midway through the 2021 clay court season that travels like my passport’s fantasy European vacation. Spain, Italy, Monaco, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland…and leads up to the pièce de résistance in Paris, France…the French Open!
Dominic Thiem took a much needed wellness break during the first half of the season, but has returned in time for the Masters 1000 event in Madrid. Has he looked sharp as a tack, fresh as a daisy? Not quite. But he’s winning and that’s what counts. His biggest test so far came yesterday in the QF’s against John Isner, who is notorious for his booming first serves. He challenged Thiem for three sets, but Thiem eventually got the win.
He will play Alexander Zverev in the semis today. Zverev, in an inexplicable turn of events, beat Rafa Nadal in his QF match. And it only took his two sets to do it. I really couldn’t believe what my kitty eyes were seeing.
Let’s not forget that Rafa also lost to Andrey Rublev a few weeks ago in Monte Carlo, so maybe Rafa IS human! AND, Novak Djokovic was also taken out early in Monte Carlo by Dan Evans. I’ve said it before, so I don’t want to jinx anything, but…it there a bit of a breakdown in the Big Three? Time will tell.
In other Madrid news…one of my new faves, Casper Ruud, won his QF match and Italian cutie patooty, Mateo Barretini won his QF match, so those two will face each other in the semis. That will be a close match up, I think, but I am predicting Ruud will reign the winner.
So, settle in and enjoy the return on Dominic. Maybe this will be his year to hoist the La Coupe des Mousquetaires!