Jimmy Connors gives Dominic Thiem advice in Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer claim
Tennis legend Jimmy Connors has urged Dominic Thiem to draw inspiration from the success achieved by Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in their 30s.
The eight-time Grand Slam singles champion believes Thiem should keep battling to return to his previous heights and feels the Austrian star has time to get back to the top.
In 2020, Thiem had a superb season as he claimed his first Grand Slam title with his victory at the US Open, while he was also a runner-up at the Australian Open and the ATP Finals.
The former world No 3 has not been the same player since, though, having struggled with motivation for the first half of 2021, before suffering a right wrist injury in June that year.
Since returning from the wrist injury in 2022, the 30-year-old’s forehand — which was previously his best shot and one of the deadliest weapons in the game — has been significantly weaker.
In a recent interview with Der Standard, Thiem admitted this could be his final year in the sport if he does not make considerable strides.
“I see this as my last chance. If I make it, it can happen quickly. I’ve been back for two years now since the injury, and I finished 2022 on 100 or so and last year on 98,” the world No 90 said.
“If I finish the year on 100 again, you have to think about whether it’s still worth it. I’ve been in rankings for two years now that I don’t want to be in. Of course that weighs on me… I’ve been chasing the feeling of really being able to play tennis in a match again for a long time. And the way I expect myself to.”
Speaking on his Advantage Connors podcast, Connors argued Thiem should persevere with his quest to regain his form given what the ‘Big Three’ have done at an even older age.
“If that was me and and I know Dominic Thiem’s not me, but I’m just saying if that was me, I would say, ‘I’m 30 years old in comparison, looking at how look Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, you know, look at some of these guys’,” the former world No 1 said.
“These guys who are playing well into their 30s, into their mid to late 30s, and what they’ve been able to accomplish. Why wouldn’t you give yourself a chance to stay out there and try to grind it out to get back to where you were.
“I know what it’s like coming back from it, you know, from an injury, you’ve got to suck up a few losses. Two years is difficult, I get it, but if you continue the grind, you can say, ‘I gave it everything that I could to try to get back into the best that I could be and have no regrets.’
“Dominic Thiem has a name, you know, still even though he has been hurt, he still has his name and his reputation. Being 30, yes, it is worth it. You know, because he has, he still has some time if he’s willing to pay the price.
“You go work hard and you continue and you train and you try to get that confidence because winning is all about confidence.”
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