‘The improvement is there’ – Dominic Thiem issues fitness update
Former world number three Dominic Thiem has opened up about his return to the ATP circuit as he outlined his short and long term goals for 2022.
The Austrian suffered a tear in his right wrist last June at the Mallorca Tennis Championships, which kept him out for the rest of 2021 and the start of the 2022 season.
The 2020 US Open Champion made his return to competitive action last month as he played at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Marbella before returning to the ATP tour last week at the Serbia Open in Belgrade where he lost in the opening round to Australia’s John Millman.
Dominic Thiem has not earned a tour-level win since May 2021, yet believes that he is on the right path to returning to his previous place among the tennis elite as he is set to compete in just his second tour-level event this week at the Estoril Open in Portugal.
Reflecting on his recent performance in Belgrade and his comeback from injury, the Austrian number one stated that he is progressing “every single day” but it will take time for him to regain full fitness and to be competitive on tour again.
“I feel much better already than Belgrade,” Thiem said. “The improvement is there every single day. In practice points I’m still having troubles — not with the wrist, the wrist is fine also in points — but [in] all the movement, all the reaction, all the anticipation, I’m still not 100 per cent yet.
“It will take many more matches until I’m back at the top level there. So I’m not feeling capable of winning this tournament.
“But every match is super important for me now. I’m going to try my best, I’m going to fight 100 per cent from the first to the last point, even when I’m not playing my best tennis, which can happen.
“And that’s it. I have low expectations this week and also the next ones to come. But obviously I’m trying everything to win and I’m going to see what comes out at the end.”
Dominic Thiem also discussed his aspirations for the French Open and beyond, believing he needs to be training with the top names in tennis in order to build up his fitness and for him to be competitive.
“Of course it’s the matches which I need, but also it’s the practice sessions with top players and those you can only get [at] the tournaments.
“I think that they are as important to get used to the pace again, to get used to the fast movements again, anticipation, reaction, that’s so important.
“The first short-term goal to be in a decent shape again is the French Open. I’m definitely not going to be a favourite there, but maybe I can win some matches there and if I face a top opponent, maybe I can give him a hard match. That’s the short-term goal. To make big things, I think I’m going to have to wait until the second part of the season.”
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