Dominic Thiem claims it took him a while to set new goals after USO win, jokes that he’s at “10%” in terms of form & fitness

Dominic Thiem recently explained why he has been unable to produce his best tennis after capturing his maiden Slam at the 2020 US Open. Thiem also claimed Roland Garros is a ‘big goal’ for him in 2021, but admitted that he is light years away from being at the level needed to challenge for the claycourt Major.

Dominic Thiem witnessed a dip in form after the US Open last year, losing in the quarterfinals of both the French Open and the Vienna Open. Although he did make amends by finishing as the runner-up at the ATP Finals, the 27-year-old’s struggles intensified with the start of the new season.

Thiem has suffered four losses out of nine matches so far in 2021, including a listless fourth-round defeat at the Australian Open.

Dominic Thiem recently appeared in a campaign for a Bee-protection initiative, where he delved deeper into his recent play and state of mind. The Austrian explained that since he had devoted his ‘whole life’ to winning a Slam, he needed time to hit the reset button and establish new goals for himself.

“I’ve basically subordinated my whole life to winning a Grand Slam title one day,” Thiem said. “And then actually managed it with an incredible amount of energy, and it then takes a while before I have reoriented myself, until I set myself new goals.”

Dominic Thiem went on to acknowledge that the sport of tennis doesn’t afford players the time to regroup, with tournaments coming at them thick and fast throughout the year.

“The only problem is that this time does not exist in tennis,” the 27-year-old added. “Because at the latest with Australia, the last Grand Slam was forgotten by everyone and the sport is just so fast-moving.”

Speaking about his 2021 Roland Garros ambitions, Dominic Thiem pointed out that he has a strong record at the Parisian event. But the Austrian believes he needs to put in a lot of work in the weeks leading up to the French Open, as he is nowhere close to Slam-contending shape right now.

“Paris is clearly the big goal this year,” Thiem said. “It’s the tournament where I’ve played the best the past few years. It’s five weeks away, if I work hard until then, I’m convinced I’ll be at the top of my shape and game. Right now I’m at 10% (laughs).”

Dominic Thiem at the 2020 French Open
Dominic Thiem at the 2020 French Open

Dominic Thiem also revealed that he resumed training a few days ago, before adding that he has a lot to make up for in terms of lost time. And that, the Austrian explained, is why he opted out of the Monte Carlo Masters.

“I got back to training a few days ago,” Thiem said. “Before that, I worked and did less for a while, so I’m behind in terms of training. This is why I canceled Monte-Carlo, I need to make up for it.”

Bees are not only cool, easygoing and lovely, but also extremely hard-working: Dominic Thiem

Turning his attention to the cause of the event he was attending, Dominic Thiem talked at length about why bees are essential to humanity. Thiem called bees ‘hard-working’, and briefly explained their role in the ecosystem.

“Bees are not only cool, easygoing and lovely, but also extremely hard-working,” Thiem said. “They do so much for the whole ecosystem through pollination, they are essential for us. Therefore we should also support and protect them.”

Dominic Thiem has been joined by Formula 1 racer Sebastian Vettel in supporting BioBienenApfel, a project created to raise awareness about the importance of bees in Austria and Germany.

Published 08 Apr 2021, 17:42 IST

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Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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