Dominic Thiem is yet to return to where he once was, but he's embracing the challenge of making it back there.
The Austrian sat down exclusively with Tennis Majors and spoke about his journey to the top which has been mostly rocky. There have been some good moments but for the most overall it's not been what you could call smooth sailing.
Slow improvements are visible with part of that being him gaining more confidence and the other part of him being back on clay. Both had a similar effect on his season last year and he's even opted to play some ATP Challengers as opposed to top events. It's a process, one that he feels more in tune with as opposed to the start of the year.
I feel good, much better than at the beginning of the season. Over the last month, I have had great intensity during practice, spending five hours or more per day on the court. The matches in the last few tournaments have also boosted my confidence. Now, it’s important to maintain this level of hard work and continue improving every day. I want to return to the top, and although it won’t be easy, I will give it my all.
Even before suffering the injury, winning the US Open was a monumental moment for Thiem, a big release and it took him a while to find his passion again.
Nothing comes easy, and success requires hard work, perseverance, and self-belief. After winning the US Open, I lost some of my inner drive, having worked towards that goal for 17 years. Then, the injury occurred, and suddenly I wasn’t ranked in the top three or considered one of the best players in the world. I dropped in the rankings. After much reflection, I found a new goal and reignited my passion for tennis. I love going out on the court, practicing hard, and competing. I strive to improve every day, never giving up.
Thiem also revealed what his biggest wish is and part of that wish had to do with tennis. He wants to be back on top though he understands that Santa want really give it to him. He'll have to work for it and earn it himself.
My wish list would be that my family and friends, including myself, stay healthy. I also wish that our planet becomes healthier again and that people change the way they think, becoming more sustainable and finding ways to live together. And on top of that, it would be great to come back to the top, but I don’t think Santa can help me with that; I’ll need to work for it myself.