“Stupid Expression”: Dominic Thiem’s Father Rubbishes Motivation Factor Ahead of French Open 2021

Published 05/23/2021, 4:21 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 13, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action during his third round match against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Wolfgang Thiem, the father and coach of Austrian tennis star Dominic Thiem, has opened up on his son’s disappointing run on court this year.


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After crashing to a fourth-round defeat at this year’s Australian Open, Thiem suffered two more early exits at Doha and Dubai before taking a sabbatical from the Tour.

The break was widely attributed to a need to fix some niggles which had been affecting his movements on court and regain the lost motivation and hunger for titles.


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The Austrian marked his return to competition with a run to the semifinals at Madrid Open but followed it up with a fourth-round exit in Rome and an emphatic pre-quarters loss to Englishman Cameron Norrie in the ongoing clay court event in Lyon.

His latest brush with disappointment in the French city has led to questions on whether the gains from Madrid, where he lost in the semi-final to eventual champion Alexander Zverev, vanished into thin air in Rome and Lyon.

Father says Dominic Thiem is a few percent down from where he needs to be

However, speaking to a German publication, Thiem’s father debunked the theory that his son was short of motivation.

But he conceded that his son, who picked up his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open last year, might be a few percentage points down from where he needs to be.

“That he wasn’t motivated is a stupid expression. He was motivated. But a few percent were missing,” Wolfgang said.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 6, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action during his third round match against Australia’s Alex de Minaur REUTERS/Juan Medina

Playing down concerns around his son’s form ahead of Roland-Garros, the coach said French Open will give a new sense of purpose to the current World No.3 and will bring the old appetite surging back into his system.

Father says Thiem knows what he wants to achieve at Roland-Garros

He said what’s important is that Thiem knows exactly what he wants to accomplish at the French Open and is determined enough to get there.

“Dominic has a goal again. This is Paris. He knows exactly what he’s doing it for. And that’s important,” Wolfgang said.


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Thiem, in earlier interviews, had sought to insist that he remains focused on his primary goal this season – to wrest the Roland-Garros title from Rafael Nadal.


Why Is Dominic Thiem Facing Issues on Clay Unlike Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic?

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The Austrian lost back-to-back French Open finals to the ‘King of Clay’ in 2018 and 2019 and is keen to set up a rematch this time and settle scores.


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.