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Dominic Thiem, the 2017 and 2018 Madrid finalist, is looking forward to competing again.

Thiem: 'My Goal Is To Get Into The Best Physical Shape'

Austrian star has been working hard in Austria

World No. 4 Dominic Thiem, who will make a welcome return to the ATP Tour at the Mutua Madrid Open, is refreshed and ready to compete again after overcoming a knee injury.

“The break was good,” said Thiem on Saturday. “I also needed it. But now it's also time to be back. I think Madrid is a great place for me [and] I have only good memories of that tournament. Conditions are amazing for my game... I'm happy to be back here and hope that I can also play well.”

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The Austrian star has played only four tournaments this year, compiling a 5-4 match record, but is looking to recapture his best form in the Spanish capital. He finished as runner-up in 2017 and 2018, and this week limited crowds will return at the ATP Masters 1000 clay-court tournament.

“It's so nice,” said Thiem, who will play a qualifier in his first match. “I was just driving in to the site for the first time, saw people in the stands, which was pretty new again for me… I can't wait to play in front of people again.

“I [have been] preparing in Austria, doing lot of physical practice, [a] lot of tennis practice. I think that I'm on a good level…. I’m probably in better shape than 12 months ago.”

The 27-year-old has been following ATP Tour action and believes that Rafael Nadal, the player he lost to in the 2017 and 2018 Roland Garros finals, is once again the player to beat.

“I think he's improving his game constantly,” said Thiem. “He [has] improved every part of his game. That's also what you need to do to be successful every year. That's why he's such a great role model.

“My goal is to get a lot of matches against top players until Roland Garros, to give myself the best chance possible there. Once I arrive at Roland Garros, I want to be in the best physical shape, in the best tennis shape, so I give myself the best chances to go deep there.”

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