Dominic Thiem is trying all he can to return to his glory days even as the clock continues to tick down on his career.
The Austrian heavy hitter hinted that he would hire someone who knew him at a professional level from a young age after parting ways with Benjamin Ebrahimzadeh following the conclusion of the Australian Open.
But Thiem has now turned to Croatia's Mate Delic, whom he defeated in the semifinal of the 2011 French Open junior tournament. Delic is only four months older than Thiem but stopped playing professionally in 2020.
Delic's resume doesn't quite strike as a man capable of transforming Thiem's fortunes. He played mostly on the ITF World Tour and at the Challenger level and never qualified for a Grand Slam main draw on the senior tour.
Still, he peaked at a career-high ranking of World No. 150 and was notably associated with compatriot Borna Coric, whom he coached since 2022 and famously led him to win his first and thus far only Masters title in Cincinnati that year.
Delic's role will be to aid Thiem in picking up his form very quickly, something he did commendably with Coric, who underwent shoulder surgery in 2021 and played superbly during his return the following season.
The 2020 US Open champion has suffered a big fall from grace in recent years. First, he was held back by a wrist injury in the summer of 2021, and truthfully, Thiem has never been the same player since he rejoined the tour in March 2023.
Shortly after, the former World No. 3 split with his Grand Slam-winning coach Nicolas Massu. His subsequent partnership with Benjamin Ebrahimzadeh did not yield the required results that Thiem had set for himself. He is currently hovering just inside the world's Top 100 and is not happy with his current struggles.
Thiem was prompted to deliver bombshell retirement news very recently, saying that this was his "last chance" to try and salvage his career. He plans to skip the Sunshine Swing next month in favor of playing Challenger tournaments.