“Trying to Find the Top of My Game”: Dominic Thiem Reveals Why He Is Playing at ATP Dubai 2021

Published 03/14/2021, 8:20 AM EDT
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


World No.4 Dominic Thiem will return to ATP Dubai Tennis Championships 2021 for the first time in six years. The Austrian is the top seed of the flagship event of the Middle East.

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Dominic Thiem during his group stage match against France’s Benoit Paire. REUTERS/Kelly Defina

In his press conference, Thiem admitted to being behind in preparation for the tournament. His 2021 form has been uninspiring after a great end to the 2020 season, and now he looks to finally regain some ground in Dubai.

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“Definitely, I’m not at the top of my game right now. Australia was pretty strange & also tough to digest in all aspects. I’m still trying to find the top of my game again. Strong tournaments like Doha & Dubai are good opportunities to get matches, to play v strong opponents.”

Dominic Thiem’s bad 2021 form

Thiem stands at 5-3 in terms of win-loss record in 2021. That is worrying for a player in the top five rankings of the world. He first had a dreadful ATP Cup and later was swept aside by Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round of Australian Open 2021.

Dominic Thiem reacts during his fourth-round match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov. REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

But Thiem still didn’t show encouraging signs as he was beaten in the quarterfinal of the ATP Qatar Open last week. So a turnaround before the clay season is necessary if Thiem wants to assert his dominance on his favorite surface, clay.

Thiem will enter the main draw of the Dubai Tennis Championships for the second time in his career. He last played in Dubai in 2015, bowing out in the first round.

Why isn’t Dominic Thiem playing in South America?

Over the years, Thiem has preferred the clay courts of Argentina and Brazil in February-March, but this year with the coronavirus pandemic, Thiem wants to be close to Europe and thus chose the Middle East events.

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“Previous five years I went to South America. It’s a little bit different this year due to all the corona restrictions and rules so I thought it may be better to stay closer to Europe,” Thiem said.

Dominic Thiem in action during his fourth-round match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Thiem’s major rival in Dubai will be Andrey Rublev. The Russian’s love for ATP 500 tournaments is known to all given his 20 match win streak. They are the top two seeds and given current form, Rublev starts as a favorite.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Memories are Still Very Clear”- Dominic Thiem Recalls When Tennis Underwent Hibernation Last Year

about 2 months ago

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Bhavishya Mittal

946 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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