Dominic Thiem Says He is Only ‘at 10%’ of His Top Form Ahead of Return at Serbia Open 2021

Published 04/09/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – MARCH 16: Dominic Thiem of Austria looks on during his singles match against Lloyd Harris of South Africa during Day Ten of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on March 16, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)


Dominic Thiem has barely held a tennis racquet over the last few weeks.

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Coming into this year’s Australian Open on the back of his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open, the Austrian had hoped to build on his success at the Flushing Meadows with his second successive Major trophy.

Dominic Thiem fell into a slump after his Australian Open fourth-round loss to Grigor Dimitrov

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Thiem seemed to be making steady progress towards his goal and even came out of a stern test of body and spirit against home favorite Nick Kyrgios with flying colors.

To script a fightback for the ages after going two sets down to a feisty competitor cheered on by a partisan crowd was no mean feat, and Thiem’s win was a statement of intent going into his pre-quarters clash with Grigor Dimitrov.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Dominic Thiem of Austria and Rafael Nadal of Spain embrace at the net following their Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match on day ten of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

However, the 27-year-old Austrian went strangely off the boil against the Bulgarian and eventually saw his campaign go up in smoke following a 4-6, 4-6, 0-6 rout.

He followed up his Australian Open loss with a quarter-final exit in Doha and a shocking opening-round loss to unheralded South African Lloyd Harris in Dubai.

The run of losses pointed to a slump and conceding as much, Thiem decided to take his mind away from tennis for a while. He pulled out of the prestigious Miami Open, the year’s first Masters 1000 event, underlining the need to “reset”.

The sudden loss of form also saw the Austrian dropping to No. 4 in the rankings. He later withdrew from the upcoming Monte Carlo Masters, which heralds the clay-court season, saying he was still not ready to compete.

Now, a tennis writer has quoted the Austrian as saying, albeit jokingly, that he is only “at 10%” of his top form.

Thiem says he remains focused on his primary goal – to beat Nadal at French Open 2021

Thiem, though, said that he is determined to make up for his training deficit over the last few weeks and find his groove going into the French Open.

The World No. 4 also said that he is eyeing a return at Belgrade and will use the event to find his best form going into Roland-Garros. He said that he still remains focused on his primary goal of this year, which is to cross the last hurdle at the French Open.

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Thiem said in a recent interview that he had set sights on beating Rafael Nadal at Roland-Garros this year. The Austrian lost back-to-back French Open finals to the ‘King of Clay’ in 2018 and 2019 and is keen to get his own back this year.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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