Dominic Thiem Believes Grand Slam Breakthrough Will Ease Pressure In Hunt For More Trophies - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Dominic Thiem Believes Grand Slam Breakthrough Will Ease Pressure In Hunt For More Trophies

The US Open champion believes he will be fit in time for Roland Garros as he weighs up his chances.

Avatar

Published

on

Dominic Thiem with 2020 US Open trophy (image via https://twitter.com/usopen)

Becoming the first man to win his maiden Grand Slam title since Marin Cilic in 2014 Dominic Thiem says he will be able to play more freely in the future.

 

The world No.3 staged a valiant comeback to oust Alexander Zverev 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6), in the US Open on Sunday in what was his fourth appearance in a major final. Thiem had previously lost his other three to members of the Big Three. He is a two-time runner up at the French Open to Rafael Nadal and came second best to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open in January. Now he has entered into the winner’s circle, the Austrian believes the sky’s the limit for him.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic which brought professional tennis to a halt for five months, Thiem will have to wait just two weeks before once again playing a major with the French Open starting. There had been concerns about his Achilles but the 27-year-old is confident he will be fit in time. As for his mentality? That is something he is less sure about.

I think physically I’m going to be fine, 100%. I’m going to have enough time to recover from all the troubles I had,” he said.
“The question is how I’m going to do it with the emotions mentally. I’ve never been in this situation. I achieved a big, big goal. I don’t know how I’m going to feel the next days.’

Nevertheless, Thiem is expecting to play future events with less pressure on his mind after achieving one of his dreams. He is only the fourth man outside of the Big Three to win a Grand Slam since 2010. The others are Cilic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

“It’s going to be or I expect that it’s going to be easier for me now in the biggest tournaments because I have in the back of my head that I have had a great career so far, way better career than I could ever dream of,” he explained.
“Until now there was still a big part, a big goal missing. With this goal achieved, I think, and I hope that I’m going to be a little bit more relaxed and play a little bit more freely at the biggest events.”

Thiem’s view is one that has also been echoed by his coach Nicolas Massu. A former Chilean player who won two gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Massu teamed up with Thiem during the first quarter of 2019 after taking over from long-time mentor Gunther Bresnik.

“I think this will help Dominic to be more calm because they talk a lot about the new generation,” Massu told reporters on Sunday. “Now he is going to be more calm playing in the next Grand Slam. I think he for sure, maybe this year or whatever, he will have a chance to win the French Open. But now I think we have to go step by step. We won here. When we arrive in Paris, when we start to practice, we have to think about French Open.”

A couple years ago Thiem was regarded by many to be at his most dangerous on the European clay. 10 out of his 17 ATP titles have been won on the dirt but his three most recent triumphs have occurred on a hard court. It wasn’t until the end of last year where he realised that he had more weapons that he first thought.

“I thought my biggest chances by far are on clay. But then the end of last year somehow a lot of things changed when I won Beijing, when I won Vienna and when I played the great Nitto ATP Finals,” he reflected.
“I realized that my game is suiting the hard courts really well.’
“Since working with Nico (Massu), we have improved my game on the hard court a lot. Also changed my mind that many shots are working great on that surface.’
“At the end it doesn’t matter to me. The main thing is that I have one of these four now.”

Thiem is the second player from his country to win a major title after Thomas Muster at the 1995 French Open.

ATP

Andy Murray Fights Back To Reach First ATP Final In 27 Months

The Brit was in impressive form against America’s Reilly Opelka.

Avatar

Published

on

Andy Murray (GBR) AELTC/Simon Bruty

Former world No.1 Andy Murray is on the verge of re-entering the world’s top 100 after battling into his first Tour final since 2019 at the Sydney International on Friday.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion recovered from a set down to beat Reilly Opelka 6-7(6) 6-4 6-4 in a marathon clash which lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. Murray, who is currently ranked 110 places lower than his American opponent, faced just one break point in the match which he saved. Impressively the Brit produced 16 aces and won 88% of his first service points. After dropping the opening tiebreak, he managed to turn the match around in his favour by breaking Opelka once in each of the next two sets.

“I love competing. You want to try to finish the matches if you can but I lost a tight first set and not easy to come back against someone who serves like that. I kept fighting… and managed to get the win,” said Murray who produced just 10 unforced errors.

It is the second time this week Murray has beaten a seeded player in Sydney after edging out second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in three sets. He also beat eighth seed David Goffin in the quarter-finals who was forced to retire whilst trailing 6-2 due to injury.

The 34-year-old has reached his first Tour final since winning the 2019 European Open when he defeated Stan Wawrinka. He now has a shot at claiming his 48th ATP title on Saturday where he will play either compatriot Dan Evans or Aslan Karatsev.

“It would be amazing to start the year with a win,” he said. “It’s been a great week for me, great progress against anything I’ve done in the past year. I’ll go for 47 tomorrow. It’s been a good week. I’ve played better with each match.”

It has been two years since Murray last played a tournament on Australian soil. Back then he was facing the prospect of having to retire from the sport due to a serious hip injury but later received resurfacing surgery which has enabled him to continue playing. Murray now plays with a metal rod inserted into his hip.

Should he prevail in Saturday’s final, Murray will crack the top 100 for the first time since May 2018.

Continue Reading

ATP

Bernard Tomic Tells Umpire He Thinks He Has Covid During Australian Open Qualifying Match

The tennis player says he is ‘really sick’ after crashing out of the tournament.

Avatar

Published

on

Bernard Tomic (image via https://twitter.com/rnadalacademy)

Bernard Tomic has taken a swipe at Australian Open officials over their testing system for COVID-19.

 

The former top 20 player crashed out in the first round of the qualifying tournament to Roman Safiullin, who impressed many during the ATP Cup last week. Tomic was on the court for less than an hour as he lost 6-1, 6-4. This was the first match he had played since September 2021.

During the second set of his clash with Safiullin, the 29-year-old was heard telling umpire Aline Da Rocha Nocinto that he believes he has COVID-19. Saying he would ‘buy her a meal’ if he was wrong.

“I’m sure in the next two days I will test positive, I’m telling you,” he said.
“I’ll buy you dinner if I don’t test positive in three days, otherwise you buy me dinner.”

Venting his frustration, Tomic said he was shocked that no official PCR tests are required for players, just rapid tests. However, Tennis Australia later clarified that all players must complete a PCR test before participating in the tournament and their result must be negative in order to play.

“They’re allowing players to come on court with rapid tests in their room, c’mon … no official PCR testing,” he continued.

Following the match Tomic posted an update on his Instagram account saying that he is currently feeling ‘really sick’ and has been asked by doctors to isolate in his room. During the match he did have a medical time out and was seen checking for his own pulse.

“Feeling really sick, I’m now back in my hotel room,” Tomic wrote.
“Just spoke to the doctors on site and they’ve asked me to isolate. They couldn’t treat me yet to avoid contact.
“Thank you for all the support on the court today. I really appreciate it! I’ll do better next time.
“Very disappointed as I really wanted to make Aussies proud and perform well on my home turf.”

Tomic has not commented on why he decided to play his match if he believed he could have covid. It is also unclear as to what symptoms he experienced leading up to today or the severity of them.

In a separate development, Portugal’s Nuno Borges was forced to pull out of the qualifying draw after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Continue Reading

ATP

Eight Questions For Novak Djokovic

So far Djokovic has been anything but transparent. His positive COVID-19 result was made known by the lawyers, not him. He trusted Craig Tiley’s assurances that he misinformed him. Here are the questions we would ask him.

Avatar

Published

on

By

Novak Djokovic at the 2021 Rolex Paris Masters (Credit: Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Roberto Ferri

For several weeks the troubled events relating Novak Djokovic and his participation in the Australian Open have been taking place.

 

For the few who still do not know them, I will summarize them briefly.

In order to take part in the 2022 edition of the Australian Open it is necessary to have completed the vaccination cycle against Covid-19 or, alternatively, to have requested from the competent local medical authorities a certificate of exemption.

On January 4, Djokovic announced in a post that he had obtained medical exemption and was on his way to Australia. Some may say it was kind of naive post, but it’s hard to believe that it was his responsibility to check consistency between the exemption that had got and the Australian federal laws.

Before his arrival at the Melbourne airport, the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison – perhaps under the pressure of a large part of national and international public opinion who had immediately expressed their discontent with this concession – declared: “Djokovic will be sent home on the first plane if he is unable to provide sufficient evidence to support his exemption from vaccination ”.

Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on January 5th but his visa to enter the country is rejected by the border authorities.

Tension rose between Australia and Serbia with the Serbian government summoning the Australian ambassador.

Djokovic’s lawyers are appealing against the visa refusal; the judge in charge of examining the appeal reserves the right to make a decision on Monday 10th January.

While awaiting the sentence, Djokovic is accompanied to a hotel of the lowest level; many fans of the champion gather in front of the hotel to protest in his favour.

In Serbia, Djokovic’s father made a series of statements in which he compares his son to Spartacus and Jesus, we assume not necessarily in this order of importance.

In the meantime, through the papers supporting the appeal filed with the Melbourne court, we learn that Djokovic had requested an exemption because he recently recovered from COVID and that he had obtained it from the Medical Director of Tennis Australia on December 30th. In the same documents we read that Djokovic’s positivity to COVID was ascertained through a molecular test carried out on December 16th.

If we (UbiTennis) had the chance, I would like to put these eight 8 questions to the Serbian champion:

1- The documents filed by your lawyers state that on December 16th you took the test for COVID 19. Why did you take it that very day?

2- On what day did you know your test result?

3- In this circumstance you considered it appropriate not to publicly reveal your positive result unlike what you did in June 2020. Why?

4- Between the day you learned about your positivity and the following days did you take part in public events?

5- If you took part in public events, what precautions did you take to avoid transmitting the infection?

6- When you arrived at Melbourne airport did you have complete documentation that provided all the evidence supporting the exemption?

7- If you had not contracted COVID you would have not been able to apply for vaccine exemption; what alternative strategy did you plan to participate to the Australian Open?

8- Would you get vaccinated if it were the only option to be able to take part in ATP and ITF tournaments during 2022?

Is Novak Djokovic going to answer them?

Only time will tell.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending