In a recent conversation with GQ Magazine, Dominic Thiem discussed the difficulties he faced after he sustained his wrist injury, his plans for the upcoming season and his role model outside of tennis.
The former US Open champion injured his wrist during the Mallorca Championships earlier this year. He was eventually forced to call time on his season in order to fully recover from the problem.
Thiem recently announced that he would not need to go under the knife because of the injury and that he was targeting a return early next year. In the conversation with GQ, the Austrian reiterated his desire to be fully fit in time for the Australian Open in January,.
"When I start tournaments again in Australia in January, I'll hopefully be one hundred percent ready and I'll be better off physically than ever before," Thiem said.
Thiem was initially eager to make a quick return to the tour, and even trained with his left hand. However, he revealed that the severity of the injury left him with no choice but to halt training completely.
"In the first rehab phase I trained a lot, that is, I played with my left hand and did a lot of fitness. But when I got the bad news that I had to wear the splint again for six weeks, I actually didn't do anything for three weeks to protect my wrist," he said.
During the conversation, Thiem was also asked if he had any role models. The Austrian was quick to name American actor Leonardo DiCaprio, saying he was a big fan of the Hollywood star because of his commitment to environmental protection.
"Leonardo DiCaprio. That would be one of the people I would absolutely want to meet. Because of environmental protection and how he is committed to it. I love the way he uses his popularity to do good things. That should actually be a role model for everyone," Thiem added.
Thiem has always championed environmental protection. He has served as an ambassador for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Austria for several years.
Through a recent Instagram post, Thiem spoke out against the illegal practice of poaching and said that people must unite in calling for stricter controls and closing of illegal wild animal markets.
"I try to eat vegetarian as often as possible" - Dominic Thiem
The interview also touched upon Dominic Thiem's lifestyle and how he manages his diet. The 28-year-old pointed out that he has taken an active interest in nutrition, and that he tries not to consume non-vegetarian food for environmental reasons.
"Because I am extremely interested in the environment and animal welfare, I try to eat vegetarian as often as possible," Thiem said.
Thiem also discussed his partnership with Adidas and their association with Parley, a non-profit environmental organization that he has worked closely with over the last few years.
The Austrian said the clothes he wears during most of the tournaments are made from recycled ocean plastic.
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"This is an organization that - when it was founded - started to get plastic out of the oceans. I play most of the major tournaments in clothes made from recycled ocean plastic. Because I am extremely interested in the topic myself, I have become an ambassador for them, and with Adidas it fits perfectly," Thiem added.