Thiem self-critical: “There was a certain sloppiness inside”

Thiem self-critical: “There was a certain sloppiness inside”
Austria’s tennis ace Dominic Thiem
Image: Christof STACHE / AFP

In an interview with ServusTV, Dominic Thiem allowed us to look a little deeper into his inner life. The 29-year-old ex-US Open winner also saw a lot of positives in the defeats against two top ten players and admitted that “a certain sloppiness” had crept in before the separation from coach Nicolas Massu. In addition, working with a mental coach has also helped him to make a stricter separation between work and private life. “There weren’t many wins in the first three months. In the last three weeks it’s going up,” explained Thiem, adding: “The defeats in the last two weeks were against players who are currently among the best in the world. Holger Rune and Taylor Fritz. It was also important to see what was missing there. I saw progress in the two matches against top ten players and that’s what it’s about.” That’s why Thiem now sees himself so far that he can “beat a lot of people” again. In contrast to the end of the previous year, there are now phases in which he realizes that he can also dominate such calibers. “I notice that I have really good rallies against them, they just have to become more frequent.”

Thiem again emphasized that the separation from Massu is due to mutual intentions. “We both noticed that we needed a new challenge or new input, not just me. That worked out well. It was also lucky that I found someone new so quickly.”

This refers to neo-coach Benjamin Ebrahimzadeh. He talked to the German-Iranian about his tennis for a long time in Estoril. “Benni told me how he imagines I have to play in order to be successful again. I noticed that that was the right thing to do and what appealed to me. We have significantly increased the amount of training and the intensity and that’s for now just what I need.”

A mental trainer is also new to the team, apparently also an important building block on the way to old and new strengths. “Working with a mental trainer is new and definitely helps. Especially separating tennis from private life and not completely interweaving it. It was extremely helpful. It’s also important for general well-being.”

Thiem admitted that recently there have been doubts as to whether he could do it again. “But I see things much more positively now because the last few weeks have shown me a lot of progress. In some phases I’ve seen that it’s very close to really good times again.” He also did everything in training. “I gave 100 percent in every unit. That’s important for me to see too. A certain sloppiness crept in before that, I was in a comfort zone. Now I’ve shifted up a few gears,” Thiem recognized. If he continues to do this in the coming weeks and months, Thiem believes that he “can certainly play really well again”.

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