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French Open: Dangerman Thiem Moves Closer to Nadal Showdown

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Thiem registered a 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second round. He and Nadal appear to be heading for a fourth-round showdown.

Paris: French Open dangerman Dominic Thiem enhanced his growing reputation on Thursday by reaching the third round for the first time with a 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

The youngest player in the top-15, the 22-year-old Austrian has won more matches on clay this season than anyone else, and his 2016 victims on the surface include nine-times Roland Garros champion Nadal and 17-times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer.

Thiem could also be a potential banana skin for Nadal in Paris since the duo appears to be heading for a fourth-round showdown.

Before that happens he will have to overcome either Germany's Alexander Zverev or Stephane Robert of France.

But Thiem, who has won claycourt titles this season in Buenos Aires and Nice, can already take some comfort in becoming the first Austrian man to reach the third round since Juergen Melzer in 2010.