Dominic Thiem declares he hasn't lost self-belief despite ragged run of form
Although Dominic Thiem's rough patch is far from over, he maintains a commendable attitude and believes he can still get back to his best.
When he was ranked fifth in June 2021, a severe wrist injury forced the Austrian to spend nine months away from the court. Upon returning to action in March 2022, he found himself in the 50th position and his rhythm was significantly hampered by the injury as he faced seven first-round exits. He kept sliding down the rankings and reached No. 352 in June 2022.
However, determined to regain his top form, the 29-year-old started sweating it out in the lower rungs of professional tennis and is now back in the top 100 of the ATP rankings — No. 96, to be exact. He realizes that there's still a long way to go, however, saying so in a recent interview with Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung, when asked if he still believed that he could be back among the top players.
"The belief is still there. Even if it's only there in a small way, it's there," Thiem said. "And I'm sure it will get bigger again. And if it were gone, then I wouldn't be sitting here anymore, then I would stop and live a different life. But the faith is definitely there."
The former World No. 3 lifted his sole Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open, where he rallied from two sets down to beat Alexander Zverev of Germany. Things have gone downhill since then and the Austrian has crashed out in the opening rounds of the last four Majors that he participated in.
In the recently-concluded Davis Cup qualifiers, his team lost 3-1 against Croatia and failed to reach the group stage. Thiem lost both his matches in straight sets against Borna Gojo and Borna Coric.
"GOAT will probably be the one with the most Grand Slams" - Dominic Thiem
Speaking in a recent interview, Dominic Thiem remarked that the player who finished with the highest number of Grand Slam titles will be the greatest player of all time. Roger Federer retired with 20 Majors in September 2022 but Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are tied for 22 titles each.
While Thiem admitted that other tournaments matter too, he was of the opinion that the four Slams were the most prestigious in the sport and should, therefore, count for more.
"In my opinion, Grand Slam titles should be the defining criteria when determining the best of all time, they are the four most important tournaments in tennis," Dominic Thiem said. "Everything else is fine, but it's not the same. The Slams are what counts, so the GOAT will probably be the one with the most Grand Slams."