Dominic Thiem makes Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer confession about Alexander Zverev
DOMINIC THIEM says there are only two players in the world better than Alexander Zverev - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Zverev, ranked third in the world rankings, is competing in his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final against Thiem this afternoon.
In contrast, Thiem has reached the last eight at Roland Garros for a third consecutive year - which will make for a thrilling tie.
The Austrian believes that most supporters would have wanted him to face Zverev in Paris.
And he has hailed the 21-year-old’s talent - despite winning four of the pair’s six previous meetings.
“Well, I think that's the matchup most of the fans in Germany and Austria were hoping for when they saw the draw,” Thiem said.
“So it's going to be a very nice match again. Of course, for both of us I think we would have been very happy if we both went through this stage where we are now.
"And going to be great. We just played in Madrid. He's amazing player.
“I mean, probably now the third-best after Rafa and Roger. So it's going to be an amazing challenge for me.”
Zverev is through to his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final
Zverev won his previous meeting with Thiem in the final of the Madrid Masters.
And Thiem is hoping to exact revenge on the youngster.
“Well, it’s completely different conditions, but still, it's going to be a very tough match against him,” he added.
“He's going to be pumped. It's his first quarter-finals. So he wants to move on, for sure. So I hope I'm a little bit more experienced in this one.
“But, as I said before, it's I think the match, especially in Germany and Austria, everybody was hoping for.
“So I think we can make it legendary, and that would be very nice.”