“Not a Machine”: Dominic Thiem Reveals What Went Wrong Against Grigor Dimitrov at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/14/2021, 5:04 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Austria’s Dominic Thiem reacts during his fourth round match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem has revealed that he was battling fitness concerns in his fourth-round defeat to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open on Sunday.

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The World Number 3 seemed to be going through the motions during his 4-6, 4-6, 0-6 loss to the 21st-ranked Bulgarian.

However, the reigning US Open champion said he wasn’t looking for excuses as he simply wasn’t good enough against a superior opponent on the day.

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Thiem reveals he was battling ‘physical issues’ during fourth-round loss to Grigor Dimitrov

While hinting that he may have suffered an injury during the fourth-round tie or was carrying a niggle from the last match, Thiem refused to specify the nature of his “physical issues” that hastened his Australian Open exit.

The Austrian showed exemplary resilience to outlast home favorite Nick Kyrgios in a bruising five-setter in the third round.

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

Thiem was down two sets before scripting a turnaround for the ages to survive a partisan crowd and a determined opponent.

Although the prospect of dropping out in the pre-quarters seems quite worrisome, the losing finalist last year underlined that he is only human and can’t be expected to churn out wins like a “machine”.

“I don’t want to find excuses. The thing is also, I’m not a machine. I’d like to be,” Thiem said.

Dominic Thiem put in an uncharacteristically poor performance against Grigor Dimitrov

While the Austrian was clearly not in his element on the day, Dimitrov’s performance wasn’t unlike a machine as he reeled off sumptuous winners one after the other, leaving his opponent chasing shadows.

Brutal with his serves, the Bulgarian sent down 10 aces to the Austrian’s 2.

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Putting pressure on the Thiem serve, Dimitrov created as many as 15 breakpoint opportunities and converted 7 of them. The Austrian, by comparison, created 7 breakpoint opportunities and managed to cash in on 2 of them.

However, the most telling statistic was, perhaps, the number of winning points that the two players tallied. While Dimitrov won a whopping 104 points, Thiem could only manage 75 in the entire match.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

840 articles

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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