Dominic Thiem made a triumphant return to the tour at the Madrid Open on Tuesday. Thiem controlled the proceedings from the get-go, eventually defeating Marcos Giron in straight sets for his first tour win in about two months.
Speaking to the media in the aftermath of his victory, Dominic Thiem reiterated that he had been biding his time before making his comeback to competitive tennis. The Austrian claimed he couldn't return earlier because his style of play is not the kind that can function effectively at anything less than 100 percent.
"For my game, I need 100 percent intensity and 100 percent energy," Thiem said. "I'm not the guy who can serve through a match or who can play with a little bit of intensity and still win. I'm just not that type of guy."
"It was better to come back when it's possible again to play with that 100% in every aspect of my game" - Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem continued to stress on how he couldn't afford to let even a slight dip creep into his play. The Austrian also revealed he was far from his full powers at the Australian Open, the Doha Open and the Dubai Tennis Championships, which ultimately prompted him to take a break from the sport.
"I need 100 per cent in every aspect of my game," Thiem said. "I was just not able to put that on court in Doha, Dubai, or towards the end of the Australian Open, so that's why it was better to take a break."
The 27-year-old added that it was better to take a sabbatical from the game and come back fresh than to play matches at a less-than-perfect level.
"It was better to come back when it's possible again to play with that 100 percent in every aspect of my game," Thiem said.
The Austrian had skipped the Miami Masters, the Monte Carlo Masters and the Serbia Open earlier, citing physical and mental struggles. But Thiem now seems to be back at his best, and he asserted that the break had helped him a lot.
"Everybody is different but my game needs 100% intensity," Thiem said. "The break was important. I (could) consider to do it in the future, too."
Dominic Thiem will now face Australia's Alex de Minaur in the third round of the Mardid Open on Thursday. Although the 27-year-old has set his expectations low from this tournament, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he makes a deep run - maybe even to the quarterfinals and beyond.