Dominic Thiem's former fitness trainer Alex Stober turned heads on Thursday by claiming the Austrian "didn't have the courage" to tell him he was ending their professional relationship. In response, Thiem put out a statement on Friday saying that the recent changes in his team didn't affect his "core" unit and that he would be giving the full side of the story "in due course".
Now in an interview with Kronen Zeitung, the 28-year-old has given more details of his split with Stober, which happened shortly after the recurrence of his wrist injury. Thiem claims the physio made him believe he could get fit in time for the US Open, which in turn made him rush through his recovery.
"I had the injury diagnosed by a specialist in Barcelona. He explained that the hand must absolutely rest," Thiem said. "My physio Alex Stober said that it was due to the discus. He started treating that because he also said the US Open could end up being a result. Which made me hope too. So I picked up the racket again way too soon. And the wrist clicked again."
Dominic Thiem went on to clarify, however, that Alex Stober's "mistake" was not the reason for the split. Instead, Thiem alleged that the trainer "twisted the truth" by claiming that he was pushing to be ready for the US Open.
"No, we had six great years in which he made me fit. It was a mistake, but mistakes happen," Thiem replied when asked whether they parted ways due to the recurrence of the injury. "What bothers me is that he didn't admit it, twisted the truth by claiming that I was pushing to get fit for the US Open. That destroyed the basis of trust."
Following the split with Alex Stober, Dominic Thiem has started working with renowned trainer Jez Green. The Austrian will not be playing again in 2021 given that his wrist is still in a splint.
Alex Stober had, in particular, taken issue with Dominic Thiem's claim last week that he was still a part of the team. The Austrian in response asserted that he made the statement to "protect" Stober.
"I wanted to protect Alex with that," Thiem said. "I wanted to talk to him personally after October 4th, that would have been important to me. But then it all came out somehow."
If I have surgery, I would only be able to train in February or March: Dominic Thiem
During the course of the interview, Dominic Thiem also issued an update on the current state of his injury. The 2020 US Open champion revealed that he will be taking off his splint towards the end of November and doing a stress test on 4 October.
If all goes well, Thiem will be able to resume training by the end of the month. But if there are any issues, he may have to get surgery - which would mean returning to the court as late as February and thus missing the 2022 Australian Open.
"On the 28th I'll get the splint down, on October 4th is the decisive day," Dominic Thiem said. "The wrist is subjected to a stress test, even in the extreme positions in which it is in the forehand. The hand then has to rest for two to three weeks, but I will work on my fitness to the full. I've lost muscles and I have to make sure that my right arm becomes a real sleeve again. But if the test doesn't go well, surgery is necessary."
"Then I would only be able to train properly in February or March instead of November," he added. "So it would only be a couple of weeks, but it would cost me the Australian Open."