A Noteworthy Year for Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem would have most popular to nonetheless be in New York. As the fourth seed on the United States Open, Thiem was anticipating to stay round at the least till the second week of the final main of the 12 months.

But, felled by a virus that compelled him to withdraw from a warm-up match in Cincinnati, Thiem, whose nickname is Domi, misplaced within the first spherical on the Open to the 87th-ranked Thomas Fabbiano of Italy. Two days later, he was again dwelling in Vienna, seeing docs and resting.

Thiem, 26, returns to play for the European crew within the Laver Cup in Geneva alongside Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini. Team World options John Isner, Milos Raonic, Taylor Fritz (in for the injured Kevin Anderson), Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov and Jack Sock.

In March, Thiem defeated Raonic and Federer to win his first ATP Masters 1000 crown in Indian Wells, Calif., then upset Nadal and Daniil Medvedev to win the Barcelona Open. In May, he knocked out the No. 1, Novak Djokovic, to succeed in his second consecutive French Open remaining earlier than shedding, once more, to Nadal.

The following dialog has been edited and condensed.

There has been a lot discuss concerning the Big Four — together with Djokovic, Federer and Nadal, all of their 30s — and also you’ve been within the combine for a very long time. Does that dangle like an albatross round your neck?

It doesn’t dangle heavy round my neck as a result of I really feel fairly privileged to be enjoying with these guys. I’m in an amazing scenario as a result of I get to play and compete in opposition to them now, after which I’ll nonetheless be round when they’re not enjoying. So, I’ve the very best of each worlds. And generally I beat them. That’s the very best half.

What’s it like to show the tables on the Laver Cup and now be teammates with Federer and Nadal?

Being on a crew now and again is particular. We tennis gamers are all 12 months lengthy doing a person sport. We journey alone, for essentially the most half prepare alone after which compete alone. So when now we have the prospect to have this crew ambiance, and with these guys, it truly is particular.

Do you study something, technically or tactically, from Roger, Rafa or Novak?

You study rather a lot from them. Just the way in which they strategy their tennis, how a lot onerous work they put in earlier than, throughout and after a match. Also, how they analyze their opponent’s techniques and when to make use of them throughout a match. What’s additionally good is how a lot they make it easier to in the course of the Laver Cup matches, which they wouldn’t do on the tour. They all offer tactics and coaching suggestions. Especially Roger, he’s great that way.

You played, and won, your first Laver Cup match against John Isner in Prague two years ago. What was that like?

That was the first year, and nobody knew what to expect. The atmosphere was just incredible. It was sold out for every match, and everyone was cheering so loud that we couldn’t even hear each other. And just being in the locker room with those guys was really fun.

What was said in the locker room?

Oh, there was a lot said in there, but that should all stay in the locker room.

You are known for your intense fitness regimen. Does that make it that much harder to take care of illness or injury?

Every single guy in the top 100 or in a Grand Slam main draw is so fit. They can run for five hours. So, if you lose 10 or 20 percent, there is no way you can beat these guys.

Your gliding one-handed backhand is envied by almost every player in the game. Was it always so natural?

I was 12 years old, and my coach, Günter Bresnik, decided that I should change my backhand from two hands to one. It suits me because it gives me a lot of power, the ball travels quickly, and I can also slice the ball low over the net. I think I’ve done pretty well with it.

You’ve been dating Kristina Mladenovic, who plays on the W.T.A. Tour. Do you talk tennis all the time?

We do talk about tennis. It’s the subject we know best. We probably talk about tennis more than anything else. We both train and work very hard, and it’s nice for us to be able to share winning and losing together.

Source link Nytimes.com

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