Dominic Thiem tried to "find a new dream" after US Open win, says online abuse athletes receive after defeats is "insane"

Dominic Thiem at the 2020 US Open
Dominic Thiem at the 2020 US Open
Namit Kumar

Dominic Thiem has had a mediocre 2021 season by his standards. He possesses a win-loss record of 9-9 for the year, with his best result being a semifinal run at the Madrid Masters.

The Austrian had earlier admitted to suffering from a lack of motivation after achieving a lifelong goal by winning the 2020 US Open.

During a recent appearance on the Tennis United series, the 28-year-old asserted that his mental well-being took a hit after he won his first Major. Thiem said he needed to find a "new dream" to keep him motivated.

"It was more like, now what?" Thiem said. "Because there was not so much new pressure or something like that going on. But before the US Open, when I had tough periods or lost tough matches I've always told myself 'it's really tough now, and it's not so much fun right now, but there's still this big dream and this big goal in the back of my head."'
"And obviously after I did that in the next tough period of time, after the Australian Open, this thing of, well, there's still something I really want to achieve, it was gone. So it was a new situation. I was trying to find a new dream, but talking about it with all kind of people, family, friends and other athletes, of course that helped even more," he added.

The Austrian won his first Major in his fourth final. He lost to Rafael Nadal in the final at Roland Garros in 2018 and 2019, and was narrowly defeated by Novak Djokovic in five sets in the 2020 Australian Open title clash.

Thiem was two sets and a break down against Alexander Zverev in the final at Flushing Meadows last year but managed to prevail 2โ€“6, 4โ€“6, 6โ€“4, 6โ€“3, 7โ€“6(6).

Dominic Thiem then shifted his focus to the topic of mental health in sports and social media abuse. Online abuse has been rampant in recent years in sports, including tennis, with a number of players recently revealing they had been targeted after matches.

Thiem said some of the messages he received on social media following defeats were "insane."

"We, everybody is suffering from that (online abuse), I guess. And I can only speak about us, I mean, the messages we get after mostly lost matches. It's insane," Thiem said.

The older you get, the more important it is to take time off: Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem at the 2021 Dubai Open
Dominic Thiem at the 2021 Dubai Open

During the course of the interaction, Dominic Thiem also spoke about how constantly traveling to tournaments around the world and remaining away from family and friends can make the ATP Tour a lonely place.

Thiem believes that the older he gets, the more time he needs to spend away from the tour to recharge his batteries.

"At home it's not so difficult because I have my family, my friends there. I enjoy the time a lot. So I forget about most of the problems. But the Tour can get very lonely sometimes," Thiem said. "And I think it's important to find a kind of work-life balance."
"When you're very young, you can probably go week in week out, playing so much," the 28-year-old added. "But the more experience you get, and the older you also get, it's maybe better to take some weeks off, enjoy it at home with family and friends, and recharge your batteries for the next challenges. "
Edited by Arvind Sriram
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