’Good Things Are Just Gone”: Dominic Thiem Reflects on Playing Tennis During COVID-19 Pandemic

Published 04/14/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – MARCH 16: Dominic Thiem of Austria looks on during his singles match against Lloyd Harris of South Africa during Day Ten of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on March 16, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)


World No. 4 Dominic Thiem has shown promising signs to be one of the future leaders of the game. With each passing year, the Austrian athlete has made progress in his game. He was the first player from the new generation to win a Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows last season, beating another youngster in Alexander Zverev in the US Open final. 

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Over the past 12 months, however, tennis has been disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic, ensuing heavy restrictions. Even the top players like Dominic Thiem have had to compromise. The majority of tournaments have had to take place without spectators. Players have had to restrict their freedom of movement and live in bio secure bubbles at every tournament.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021, Austria’s Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning his third round match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Dominic Thiem enjoyed going for dinners at the different tennis venues

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Naturally, this is a hot topic of discussion not just among fans but also the players. Prior to the pandemic, Thiem would enjoy visiting the different restaurants at the different venues. That is a mere dream now with the new reality in place.

The 27-year-old Austrian player voiced his opinion and stated, “The entire tour is really exhausting because we are on the road all year round. And right now all the nice things like the energy from the fans, the dinners in the great cities where we are, go on the beach together.

“All these things just fall away. All the bad things about traveling and the whole job are still there, and all the good things are just gone. That just makes it a little more exhausting than it was before.”

(Quotes translated using Google translate)

Other than the restricted movement, the absence of fans from the events can be demotivating for some players. Usually, crowds add another level of excitement and can help players produce scintillating tennis. It is a hand-in-hand process and without the spectators, some players can find it difficult to keep motivated. 

A disappointing start for Dominic Thiem

Speaking of tennis, Dominic began his season at the exhibition event ‘A Day at the Drive’ in Adelaide. He competed against Rafael Nadal and lost the match. Later, he represented Austria in the ATP Cup but lost to Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021, Austria’s Dominic Thiem with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios after winning their third-round match REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

He was next seen at the Australian Open and played a sensational match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios. He lost the first couple of sets and clawed his way back into the match, claiming the next three sets. However, he lost in the following match to Bulgarian player Grigor Dimitrov.

Currently, Thiem is not playing the ATP Monte Carlo Masters this week. Nonetheless, he intends to resume his season at the ATP Serbia Open 2021 in Belgrade.  

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Rohan Kollare

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Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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