Dominic Thiem looking to rekindle fire after losing his spark following US Open success
Some players are pushed on to greater levels once they achieve a dream, but Dominic Thiem is not one of them as he admitted he lost motivation after winning the US Open.
After notching up three Grand Slam runners-up trophies, Thiem finally made his major breakthrough as he became the first player born in the 1990s to win a Slam when he defeated Alexander Zverev in the 2020 US Open final.
He was expected to push on and challenge for more Grand Slams, but he suffered an alarming slump in form and then picked up a serious wrist injury in June 2021.
The Austrian missed the remainder of the 2021 season and only returned to ATP action in April the following year, but he struggled and eventually dropped out of the top 300 in the ATP Rankings.
There was some improvement during final few months of the year as he reached three semi-finals and a couple of quarter-finals to finish the year just outside the top 100.
The 29-year-old admits it has been a difficult road.
“It [the fire] went out after the US Open,” he told Kronen Zeitung. But we’ve already talked about that. I don’t want to blame myself for that.
“There are players who celebrate great success who are spurred on by that, who are pushed even further to perform even better, who are immediately on fire to win the next Grand Slam title. It wasn’t like that for me, I’m a different guy.
“It took me a while before I accepted that, that I’m a bit harder on myself than some others. What I certainly also had to learn is that it is only up to me and I have to regulate it myself.”
Thiem currently finds himself at No 96 and his struggles over the past two years have made him stronger as he insists he wants to regain his best form.
“It’s still there. Even if it should only be there very small, it is there, and I’m sure it will get bigger again. When it’s gone, I won’t be sitting here anymore, I would stop and live a different life. But the belief is definitely there. The only thing I can do is keep working and training.
“It’s a difficult situation, definitely. It’s not always easy for me, which has been the last year and a half since the US Open.
“What I have to do, like today, is give everything, fight hard from the first to the last ball. Then I definitely have a chance of getting back to a very good level. This is also the only chance.”
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