“Weren’t Driven by American Dream”: Father Shares Dominic Thiem’s Early Years in Tennis

Published 12/11/2020, 11:00 AM EST
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 22, 2020 Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs


Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem’s father has opened up on his son’s growing up years. 

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Speaking to French publication L’Equipe, Wolfgang Thiem said he never had to push his son into tennis as he was already hooked onto the sport.

Wolfgang said his son never complained about tiring and strenuous practice sessions as he enjoyed the process.

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A couple of weeks ago, l'Équipe published a short interview with Wolfgang Thiem. I thought it was both interesting and sweet, so I translated it 😊

"Dominic definitely got his fighting spirit from his mother!" pic.twitter.com/IXVQRMTAEx

— Helene ~ 🎢 (@DomiBucky) December 7, 2020

Asked if he ever had to goad his son into picking up a tennis racquet, Thiem senior said, “I never pushed him! I have always seen him motivated and happy. He never asked how long a practice session was going to last, because he just loved it.”

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Austria’s Dominic Thiem reacts during his semi-final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Wolfgang used to work with his son’s former coach Gunter Bresnik at the latter’s academy in Vienna. The reigning US Open champion came into Bresnik’s tutelage when he was just eight.

However, he came to be coached by his father from the age of nine.

#THISISTENNIS @atptour pic.twitter.com/f030RO1N1s

— Dominic Thiem (@ThiemDomi) December 9, 2020

Thiem’s father said he and his partner had just hit their twenties when they tied the knot. He added that both imparted tennis coaching early in their matrimonial years to make a living.

“His mother and I were very young when he was born. We were twenty. We were coaching tennis to earn money. Dominic was constantly with us, because my parents were still working.

So every time he had a spare moment, he would come with us on court,” Wolfgang recalled.

 

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A post shared by Dominic Thiem (@domithiem)

He said he never really had the means to build big dreams around tennis or send his son to a reputed tennis academy.

“We weren’t the kind of family driven by the American dream and the idea to send our kid to the (Nick) Bollettieri Academy to make a star out of him,” Wolfgang said.

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However, one suspects he doesn’t rue not sending his son to a top tennis school as he has emerged as one of the biggest stars in the men’s game.

Thiem clinched his maiden Grand Slam trophy this year and also made the title round of the season-ending ATP Finals.

He finished the season ranked third and will head into the new year high on motivation to seize the top rank and land more titles.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

747 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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