“Had Been Completely Away”: Dominic Thiem Apprehensive Regarding His Performance at Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Published 05/03/2021, 12:00 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem reacts during his first round match against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Dominic Thiem, who won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last year, had failed to remain at the top of his game in 2021 as he suffered to find the right motivation to perform well on the big stage. 

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His defeat in the fourth round of the Australian Open against Grigor Dimitrov might have been the result of a mental block as he played the match without crowds after a blockbuster third-round contest against Nick Kyrgios where the entire stadium erupted with fans. 

“It feels great to be back in my tennis world” – Thiem on his comeback

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Since the Australian Open, Thiem has found it difficult to win matches at tournaments played in Qatar and Dubai. Also, his knee injury became an issue of concern. As a result, the Austrian decided to take a break from competitive tennis and explained the need to find the right motivation to make a comeback. 

Thiem has always preferred clay courts over other surfaces, and it only seems rational that he chose to compete in the ongoing Mutua Madrid Open 2021. 

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LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates during his match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia on Day 8 of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena on November 22, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

To express his pleasure of returning to tennis, Thiem shared a message with fans on his website and wrote, “It feels great to be back in my tennis world. Since Friday, I have been preparing for my first match since March 16. I will play at the ATP-1000 on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

The Austrian hax performed well at the Madrid Masters over the years as he registered the first big win of his tennis career in 2014 by defeating an in-form Stan Wawrinka in the second round. 

Wawrinka had had a magnificent start to the year, where he won the Australian Open title by defeating the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Thiem went toe-to-toe against Wawrinka and came out on top of the high-quality baseline exchanges. This victory against Wawrinka put Thiem on the map as he kept improving his ranking on tour from that moment. 

Dominic Thiem remains unsure of his performance at Mutua Madrid Open

The Austrian reminisced the two finals he had made it to at the Madrid Open (2017 and 2018), where he lost to Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev respectively. 

“I have great memories for Madrid. In 2014 I had my first victory against a top-10-star, Stan Wawrinka. I reached the final in 2017 and 2018,” Thiem mentioned. 

But Thiem also indicated to his fans to not expect much from him at the Madrid Masters as he is yet to figure out how his body will respond on-court. 

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action during his fourth round match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

“What do I expect this year? Well, I can’t tell you anything about that! My break has been too long, I had been completely away from tennis, match situations feel different… Physically I feel fit, my tennis is on top. However, I’m looking forward to it and feel ready and can barely wait for my first match in Madrid,” Thiem said, reflecting on his fitness. 

It will be a mammoth task for Thiem to stage a massive victory at the Mutua Madrid Open. But this event can help the Austrian in terms of match practice and will thrust him forward for better performances at the Italian Open. 

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Sagar Ashtakoula

334 articles

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.

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