Dominic Thiem sent an emotional message to his fans during his continued comeback.
Dominic Thiem issued an emotional statement to his supporters following Austria’s Davis Cup defeat to Croatia. It comes after the 2020 US Open champion admitted that his Grand Slam win may have stunted the rest of career, confessing that his “light went out” after lifting a long-awaited Major trophy.
Thiem became the first male player born in the 1990s to win a Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open, where he came from two sets down and saved a championship point to defeat Alexander Zverev in what was the Austrian’s fourth Major final after losing to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the past. But at what appeared to be the peak of his career, Thiem quickly fell away in 2021 and things worsened when he got injured in June of that year, spending months on the sidelines.
Since making his comeback 11 months ago, the former world No 3 has managed to make it back inside of the top 100 of the rankings and reached three tour-level semi-finals but is yet to win a title at any level and has come up against some tough players in early rounds of tournaments including the likes of Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev. But the 29-year-old has now written a heartfelt message to his fans after claiming his performances “weren’t what they should be.”
Taking to Instagram after losing to world No 23 Borna Coric at the Davis Cup, Thiem wrote: “I’m disappointed I could not help Austria win the Davis Cup tie against Croatia. Congratulations and well done to them. I know it wasn’t easy for all of you to support me lately, and I fully understand that some of my performances weren’t what they should be.”
The 17-time title winner vowed to come back stronger as he continued: “I will get back to the best version of myself, and with your support, it will go faster and feel much better. I appreciate it and I am beyond grateful you guys have my back.” Thiem’s emotional pledge to his fans came days after he admitted his career-best title had actually been the thing that caused his drop-off, claiming that he lost motivation after winning the US Open.
When Austrian outlet Kronen Zeitung asked whether his fire went out after he injured his wrist at the 2021 Mallorca Championships, he responded: “It went out after the US Open. But we’ve already talked about that. I don’t want to blame myself for that.”
Explaining his different response to winning a Major title, Thiem continued: “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.” But he is full of belief that he can get back to his best while currently sitting at No 96 in the world.
“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,” he said. 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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