Galo Blanco continues to develop his coaching career and for the past months has been working alongside Austria’s world number seven Dominic Thiem. After working with the likes of Milos Raonic, Jurgen Melzer, Elias Ymer and Karen Khachanov, amongst others, in the past, Galo’s latest challenge is his biggest yet: to lead one of the best players on the circuit. This year they have won in Buenos Aires and before taking on the challenge of attempting to win his first Masters 1000, the Spanish coach spoke to the Mutua Madrid Open website.
• – How’s Thiem looking coming into Madrid after playing in Barcelona?
Right now it’s a moment of transition after Dominic’s injury in Indian Wells. The most important thing is that he’s no longer playing in pain and for us that was the main this after what happened. If I’m being honest, he returned to action earlier than envisaged because we weren’t expecting him to play in Monte Carlo. I’m happy that he’s in good health pain free.
• – Was losing to Tsitsipas something that was expected?
He’s a lad who is playing well, he was coming into it off the back of some good results. We’d faced him twice already this year and we knew it was going to be a tough game.
• – On a personal level, how is this new chapter with Dominic going for you?
It’s another step, another player, different to what I’ve worked with up to now, but truth be told it’s easy to work with him because he’s a hard worker. He’s got no problems spending the necessary time on the court in order to improve and he’s open to everything.
• – It’s the first time you’ve trained a developed player. What’s the difference between this and your previous experiences?
The other players I’ve had were younger, hadn’t won anything and you observe their evolution. With Dominic the objectives are different. If you don’t win each tournament you enter, it’s not a backward step but you don’t leave satisfied. The pressure is bigger because you need to win all the tournaments, but it’s also a challenge to ensure that a top player does his best.
• – Toni Nadal said that Thiem is Rafa Nadal’s heir apparent. What do you think?
He’s one of the best players on clay and one of the youngest on the circuit, too, so naturally it should be like this. But there’s other players who re on the way up and while right now they’re not up there, they might be in a couple of years.
• – Do you think he feels this pressure?
No. He’s always trying to improve and if you do your job well it’s just a question of time that results come, even if you don’t know when it’ll happen. For this you’ve always got to be happy with the work you do and try to better yourself every day.