“Couldn’t Plan Anything”: Dominic Thiem Reveals Reason Behind Tokyo Olympics 2021 Withdrawal Following a Tough Season

Published 06/20/2021, 12:39 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem walks off the court after losing his first round match against Spain’s Pablo Andujar REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Having won his first grand slam title at the US Open last year, world number five Dominic Thiem has been struggling to find peak form ever since. The Austrian took a small break from tennis to rewire himself and instill the right motivation to get back to winning ways.


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But, the comeback wasn’t fruitful for Thiem as he failed to make his mark on the clay-court season. Even at Roland Garros, he was defeated by Pablo Andujar in the first-round.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 13, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action during his third round match against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

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As players begin their transition from clay to grass, Thiem decided to participate at the upcoming Mallorca Championships to improve his chances at Wimbledon. The Austrian accepted a wild-card for the event.

Since 2014, Thiem’s best record at SW19 was reaching the fourth-round in 2017. While the Austrian hopes to make it to the second-week on his least favorable surface this year, the championships at Mallorca will provide the right platform for Thiem to excel.

“Didn’t expect that its gonna be so difficult” – Dominic Thiem on his below-par season so far

With tournament results not going his way, the Austrian took a tough decision to skip the Tokyo Olympics in order to stabilize his ranking. Speaking ahead of ATP Mallorca, Dominic Thiem revealed the reason behind his withdrawal from the prestigious event.

Few things changed my mind. It’s still a big dream for me to play in the Olympics so 2024 is the year I am going to be playing. I didn’t expect that its gonna be so difficult and bad year for me. So I really need to make some points in order to keep up with the rankings, that’s one reason”, Thiem said.

From his words, it’s evident that the Austrian didn’t expect his 2021 season to turn out to be a below-par affair. However, with a lot of upcoming hard-court events post-Wimbledon, Thiem didn’t want to lose the opportunity of bagging more points and be prepared to defend his US Open crown.

Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates with championship trophy after winning in a tie-breaker during his Men’s Singles final match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on Day Fourteen of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Thiem explains the reason behind his Olympics withdrawal


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Another reason, especially now I need some safe planning what I do in the upcoming weeks and months and Olympics was horrible, you couldn’t plan anything so I decided to withdraw and move it to 2024 in Paris”, concluded Thiem.

A lot of top players found it difficult to cope up with the expectations on the European clay-court swing. Despite clay being his favorite surface, lack of enough matches ahead of French Open affected Thiem’s performance.

Barring this year, Dominic Thiem was a consistent performer on the ATP tour since 2018 and a deserving member among the next generation players to win a grand slam title. As surprising as his current form is, the Austrian is expected to bounce back on the US hard-court swing that begins soon after Wimbledon.


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Sagar Ashtakoula

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Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.