Roger Federer: Dominic Thiem warns of big French Open ‘goal’ after Barcelona Open glory

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Thiem made a statement to the rest of the ATP Tour by winning the ATP 500 event in Barcelona on Sunday, his ninth clay court title.

It leaves the Austrian fifth in the ATP world rankings, just 500 points behind Federer in fourth.

Alexander Zverev is the world No 3, 685 points ahead of Thiem, but in poor form after early exits at the Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona.

Zverev is in action this week at the BMW Open where he will be hoping to defend his title.

Thiem, Federer and Zverev are all expected to play at the Madrid Masters next week which could have ramifications for the Roland Garros seeding.

A top-four seeding will mean avoiding Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic until the semi-final and final, should they reach the last four.

But a seeding between five and eight could mean a possible matchup in the quarters.

Thiem beat Nadal for the fourth time on a clay court en route to winning in Barcelona.

And he also has two wins over Djokovic on clay.

After victory in Barcelona, Thiem was asked about the importance of being among the top four seeds and that although he hadn’t been thinking about it, a high seeding was crucial.

He told reporters: “That helps for sure and I wasn’t thinking about that.

“But a top-four seeding would help for sure.

“You avoid the biggest names in the quarter-finals.

“It would be nice if it doesn’t happen all the way to the deep rounds. It is very hard and tough.

“But a top seeding is a good goal yeah.

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