Dominic Thiem reflects on the 'fire' inside him post-US Open title, says he is a "different" guy who is not immediately motivated to win next Major
Dominic Thiem etched his name in tennis history at the 2020 US Open, winning his maiden Grand Slam title by beating Alexander Zverev in a thrilling final that went the distance. The Austrian, who had reached two Major semifinals and three finals prior to the run at Flushing Meadows, did not reach a single quarterfinal after that, losing in the first round of four Slams in five appearances.
The former World No. 3 touched on this inexplicable drop in form in a recent interview with Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung, joking that the "fire" in him had died after achieving the enormous goal of winning a Grand Slam.
However, the 29-year-old did not see reason to be embarrassed about it. He said that he was not like other players who immediately found the motivation to add to their tally after winning their first Major.
"[The fire] went out after the US Open," Thiem joked. "But we've already talked about that. I don't want to blame myself for that either. There are players who celebrate great success, who are spurred on by that, who are pushed even further to perform even better. Who are immediately on fire to win the next Grand Slam title. It wasn't like that for me, I'm a different guy."
At the same time, Dominic Thiem admitted that it took him a long time to come to terms with the reality, revealing that he used to be very hard on himself earlier. Now, however, the former US Open champion has taken it in stride.
"It took me a while before I accepted that. That I'm a bit harder on myself than some others. What I certainly also had to learn is that it is only up to me and I have to regulate it myself," Thiem said.
"The only thing I can do is keep working and training" - Dominic Thiem on his plans to return to top form
The 2023 season hasn't been kind to Dominic Thiem either. The Austrian has lost all four of his matches so far -- against Soon-woo Kwon (Adelaide International), Andrey Rublev (Australian Open), Borna Gojo, and Borna Coric (Davis Cup). The road to recovery for Thiem since the wrist injury in 2021 has been a very rocky one, but he remains confident of making a return to top form.
As for how, Thiem has no other option but to keep working hard and training.
"The only thing I can do is keep working and training. I fought hard from the first to the last point. You can definitely build on that, if I do that, I increase my chances," Thiem said.
Admitting that the last year and a half has been difficult, the two-time French Open runner-up remarked that he has but one option to get out of the slump -- give his everything in every match.
"It's a difficult situation, definitely. It's not always easy for me, which has been the last year and a half since the US Open. What I have to do, like today, give everything, fight hard from the first to the last ball. Then I definitely have a chance of getting back to a very good level. This is also the only chance," Dominic Thiem said.