“Not the Guy Who Can Serve Through a Match”: Dominic Thiem Reflects on Comeback at Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Published 05/05/2021, 5:30 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 28: Dominic Thiem of Austria in action against Marin Cilic of Croatia in the first round of the singles competition on Court Philippe-Chatrier during the French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on September 28th 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)


The seven-week break from the Tour seemed to have done Dominic Thiem a world of good as he looked like the Thiem of old in the manner in which he strolled past American Marcos Giron in his comeback match at the Madrid Masters on Tuesday.

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Not showing a hint of rust in his game at the Caja Magica, the Austrian dished out clinical and, at times, delectably sumptuous tennis, to power past his opponent 6-1, 6-3.

Dominic Thiem says he was anxious to get off to a good start in Madrid

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Sharing his thoughts on the game at a post-match media interaction, Thiem said that he was anxious to get off to a good start in his comeback event but was unsure how his tournament opener would go down.

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)

He added that though he was happy with how he was shaping up at practice sessions, it wasn’t a real indicator of matchday form as he sparred on smaller and faster practice courts.

“I was uncertain how things will be going. The game worked out well in the past days of practice but I was always practicing on the outside courts which are faster, which are smaller, so I was just not sure how it was going to be in the match,” the current World No. 4 said.

However, he added that the playing conditions in Madrid suited his game, making it easier for him “after such a long time” to mark his return with a win.

A runners-up in the Spanish capital in 2017 and 2018, the Austrian looked happy and in his element on the familiar turf at Caja Magica.

Thiem says happy memories of Caja Magica helped him to a win

Thiem said that the happy memories of the arena where he played some of the best matches of his career helped him overcome the pre-match jitters and carried him to a win on Tuesday.

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“Then (I have) amazing memories on this court, where I already played probably some of the best matches of my career. I think that’s why things worked out quite well tonight,” the reigning US Open champion said.

The Austrian, who will play quick-footed Australian Alex De Minaur for a place in the quarter-finals, said that for him to be playing his best tennis, he needs to be at 100% in terms of “energy” and “intensity”“I am not the guy who can serve through a match or who can play with a little bit of intensity and still win. I’m just not that type of guy,” he said.

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Conceding that he wasn’t at 100% “in every aspect” of his game in the earlier events, he said that it was, therefore, wise to return when he was back at his best.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1003 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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