“Things Are Not Looking Good”: Former Player Says Dominic Thiem Could be Going the Juan Martin Del Potro Way

Published 06/26/2021, 2:50 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem reacts during his first round match against Spain’s Pablo Andujar REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


Former Venezuelan tennis player-turned-analyst Nicolas Pereira has weighed in on the persistent injury struggles of Dominic Thiem. Speaking on a podcast, Pereira said that an unscheduled break several weeks into the new tennis season may have had a lot to do with his injury episodes in the recent past.

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Sensing a slump after a series of below-par performances, starting with a fourth-round exit at this year’s Australian Open, Thiem took a seven-week break from the Tour to rediscover his hunger for titles and return fresh and firing.

The break seemed to have done him wonders as he reached the semifinals of the Madrid Open, his comeback event. However, two more losses thereafter – Lorenzo Sonego of Italy in the last-16 in Rome and Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in the fourth round at Lyon – raised fresh questions around his form and motivation ahead of the French Open.

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Dominic Thiem lost in the first round of Roland-Garros this year

As many feared, Thiem, a two-time runner-up at Roland-Garros, crashed out in the opening round after losing to veteran Spaniard Pablo Andujar.

Desperate to put his season back on track ahead of the Wimbledon Championships, the Austrian raced to 5-2 lead over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino at Mallorca before a wrist injury cut his campaign short.

After a visit to Rafael Nadal’s personal physician to get his injury assessed, Thiem pulled out of Wimbledon, in more bad news for his fans after his withdrawal from Tokyo Olympics earlier.

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

Thiem’s wrist injury similar to Juan Martin Del Potro’s, says Nicolas Pereira

Making some sense of Thiem’s miserable run, Pereira said he seemed to take his foot off the gas after lifting his maiden Grand Slam title at last year’s US Open, adding that when one blows hot and cold like that, one risks injuries of the kind that has put Thiem on the sidelines.

“He took a sabbatical, he got injured, he relaxed after the US Open win. He was not all down. When you play that way, you open the door to this kind of freak injuries and if he gets off with five weeks, he would be lucky,” the former Venezuelan player said.

Comparing his wrist injury to the one that forced former Grand Slam champion Juan Martin Del Potro into a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

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“He said he heard a pop on that wristy forehand he tried to hit on the run and that’s exactly what happened to Juan Martin Del Potro and he had to have a couple of surgeries and was out for a year,” Pereira said.

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He feared that Thiem may be going down the same road as the Argentine as “things are not looking good” for him.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 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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