Dominic Thiem reflects on battle between mind and body during injury struggle ahead of French Open 2023
Dominic Thiem has opened up about the challenge of coping with the physical limitations he encountered during his injury struggles as he gears up for the 2023 French Open.
In June 2021, Thiem suffered a serious wrist injury which sidelined him for nine months. Upon his return in March 2022, the Austrian had slipped down to No. 50 in the rankings. Despite finding himself out of the Top-350 in the rankings last year,
Thiem has worked his way back to the Top-100. With a 7-12 win/loss record for the 2023 season, he is currently ranked 92nd in the world.
Looking back at his time on the sidelines, Thiem highlighted the difficulty he faced enduring a prolonged injury layoff for the first time in his career.
"It was difficult for me to cope with - and unusual - because it was the first time I had been out injured for a long time. In the first 10 weeks I was in a cast so couldn't do anything anyway - and then the struggles started when I began to play again," he said in an interview with the BBC.
Thiem touched upon the struggles he faced due to his wrist injury, particularly in regards to his playing style. He stated that he found it impossible to continue playing at full strength after the injury, though his mind desired to play at "full power".
"It was so tough because before I was used to ripping the ball, I was used to using the wrist at full power and the whole body at full power, and then it was just not possible. My mind wanted to play full power. The body wouldn't allow it," he added.
"Now everything is well and the body feels great" - Dominic Thiem ahead of French Open 2023
Dominic Thiem acknowledged his previous good fortune regarding his physical condition and stated that due to the intensity of his playing style, it was "inevitable" for an injury to occur.
"I was always very lucky with my body because I was pushing it to the limit almost every day when I was young. Because of all those strokes I did in my career up to then, it was inevitable something was going to happen at one point," he said.
Now, however, Thiem believes that his body "feels great" in the lead-up to the French Open.
"Now everything is well and the body feels great," he expressed.
Thiem is set to take on Pedro Cachin in the first round in Paris on Monday, May 29. The Austrian will be hoping to make a strong start to his campaign at the claycourt Major, which marks his strongest surface.
Thiem has won 10 of his 17 career titles on clay. The 29-year-old previously reached consecutive French Open finals, in 2018 and 2019, losing to Rafael Nadal on both occasions.