Thiem still making adjustments after return to clay
Dominic Thiem is through to the quarter-finals of the Rio Open but says he is yet to hit top form on clay after a change in surface.
Thiem, who is likely to break into the top three for the first time in his career when the rankings are next updated, reached the final of the Australian Open earlier this year although he lost out to Novak Djokovic.
The Austrian was considered a clay-court specialist earlier in his career but has now developed his all-round game, picking up some huge results on hard courts, having claimed the Indian Wells title last year.
Thiem came through a tough encounter with Spanish world number 99 Jaume Munar to reach the quarter-finals on the clay of Rio and the 26-year-old says he is still trying to find his best form, as he continues to make adjustments after a switch in surfaces and was taken to three sets for a second consecutive match.
"I think he [Munar] is ranked worst than he is playing and he played a great match today." Thiem told rioopen.com.
"He didn't give me any free points and for sure I'm not at my best right now. I'm not where I was in Australia, but that's normal. I'm back in clay for the first time since August, there are lots of travelling going on. In mind and body, I'm not at the top level again."
Thiem will face Italy's Gianluca Mager in the last eight on Friday.
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.