Dominic Thiem Australian Open 2020

Dominic Thiem claims his fire ‘went out’ after winning the US Open

Dominic Thiem has reflected on his career since winning his only Grand Slam title, at the 2020 US Open, and suggested that he thought winning the first major would make it ‘easier’ to win more.

Thiem beat Alexander Zverev, from two sets down, to win the title in New York but has struggled to recreate that sort of form since, with injuries also hindering the Austrian’s progress.

Following picking up a serious wrist injury in the summer of 2021, Thiem was unable to return until March last year when his ranking fell outside the top 300.

The former No.3 did not pick up a win in 2022 until July, when he beat fellow Austrian Filip Misolic at the Salzburg challenger.

When asked about if his injury took the fire out of him, Dominic Thiem laughed before saying, “It went out after the US Open. But we’ve already talked about that. I don’t want to blame myself for that.”

“There are players who celebrate great success who are spurred on by that, who are pushed even further to perform even better, who are immediately on fire to win the next Grand Slam title. It wasn’t like that for me, I’m a different guy.”

He continued, “It took me a while before I accepted that, that I’m a bit harder on myself than some others. What I certainly also had to learn is that it is only up to me and I have to regulate it myself.”

The Austrian did improve his form towards the end of last year, picking up three top 20 wins and reaching two ATP 250 semi-finals, consequently moving back into the top 100.

However, the No.96 is without a win so far this season, losing all four of his matches in straight sets. Despite this, Thiem has declared that he still has the belief to get back to a ‘good level’.

“It’s still there. Even if it should only be there very small, it is there, and I’m sure it will get bigger again. When it’s gone, I won’t be sitting here anymore, I would stop and live a different life. But the belief is definitely there. The only thing I can do is keep working and training.”

“It’s a difficult situation, definitely. It’s not always easy for me, which has been the last year and a half since the US Open.”

Thiem added, “What I have to do, like today, is give everything, fight hard from the first to the last ball. Then I definitely have a chance of getting back to a very good level. This is also the only chance.”

The two-time Roland Garros finalist will be hoping for better results when he returns to the clay next week in Buenos Aires, where he has lifted the title twice before. The following week Thiem will head to Rio de Janeiro, where he won the title in 2017.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.