Is Thiem really the “Prince of clay” or does Nadal just have a matchup problem with him?


Thiem is actually pretty inconsistent on clay, so does Nadal have a matchup problem with him (in BO3) or is he really living up to all the hype?
Ned tanked in Rome last year and had an off day in Madrid this year. And the other win came in 2016. Thiem didn’t get close to taking a set off of Nadal at RG in the last two years.
Um, Thiem just bagelled The Nadal at USO and still lost the match. This is as much a "matchup issue" as Fedal was: massive flattery to the loser who clearly has a psychological issue with The Nadal.

A distant second is the actual matchup issues where Thiem needs to redline his game at a very low margin to push The Nadal. Thiem's best average level simply isn't good enough. How much of that is stupidity, poor shot selection, stubbornness and choking as opposed to a lack of ability is irrelephant. That USO match they just played is a rare match, demonstrative of many things including Thiem actually forgetting how to play and succeed against a player after just bagelling him. Tennis (and life) rarely rewards that level of idiocy.