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WATCH: Dominic Thiem hilariously calls Rafael Nadal a “Decent player”

Both Nadal and Thiem have been drawn in the same half at Madrid and may clash in the semi-finals.

Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem

The 2021 Clay court season is in full swing with the tour reaching Madrid this week. The ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal goes into the tournament as the top seed. The tournaments also mark the return of 2-time Roland Garros finalist, Dominic Thiem.

Thiem, due to his exceptional performance on Clay over the years have is also lovingly called as the ‘Prince of Clay’. He last competed at the Dubai Championships this year and will be playing his first Clay court tournament of the year this week.

Thiem has an impressive record against Nadal on Clay. He has defeated the Spaniard since 2016. He is also projected as the one to challenge Nadal at Roland Garros this year alongwith Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic.

Dominic Thiem spots Rafael Nadal during a practice session

Dominic Thiem

Both Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem have been handed a first round bye and hence their matches would begin from Tuesday. On Monday, Rafael Nadal was practicing on one of the side court, when he had an unexpected visitor- Dominic Thiem.

In a video posted by ATP Tour, Thiem spotted Nadal and saw him practice, after which he laughed and said ‘Decent Player’. Having shared some intense training sessions in the past, this light moment made their fans a laugh.

On tour, Thiem will next Marcos Giron in the second round of the Madrid Masters today. This will be his first match on Clay this season.

Also read: Passing the baton: Federer trains with Dominic Stricker in Dubai