Dominic Thiem will count on a mere six days of clay-court training in this anomaly of a tennis season before getting down to business when Roland Garros starts on Sunday.
The Austrian winner of the US Open a fortnight ago will focus on adjusting his mindset after earning the biggest title of his career in New York in an event played without fans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will be nearly the same scenario in Paris, with only 1,000 spectators allowed through the gates each day by order of authorities. .
But plenty is at stake for the two-time finalist in Paris, where autumn moved in with a vengeance on Friday, dropping temps to 9 celsius along with rain showers typical of the season.
The ATP No. 3 will try and put his modicum of clay practice to best use and focus on what is in front of him on what promises to be heavy courts and balls due to the weather..
“It’s not easy to forget the US Open,” the 26-year-old said. “I achieved a life goal there. I’m so happy and relieved.
“I was able to enjoy it at home in Vienna with friends and family. But at the same time, I have this tournament coming up where I’ve done well the last four crazy years.
“I didn’t want to lose the (competitive) tension. I trained for just two days in Austria and will have three or four days here.
“I’ll see how I handle the physical and mental challenges and the emotions. I’ve never played so well after winning big titles, I’d like to try and do it differently here in Paris
“I want to be on top of my game from Monday on.”.