Dominic Thiem recently talked at length about the physical and motivational issues he has been facing this year. The Austrian has been struggling to find his best on tour since the start of 2021, leading many to wonder whether he is in the right head space to compete at the top level.
Speaking with Der Stanard, Thiem shed light on the discomfort he has been experiencing in his right foot. The issue has arisen because of his tendency to slide on the court, and Thiem remarked that it was a "congenital problem".
The 27-year-old also claimed it usually takes a couple of weeks for him to recover whenever the injury flares up.
"It is a congenital problem that sometimes appears in my knees," Thiem said. "People know it now but it takes a few weeks to disappear. It already hurt in Australia, and although it hurts a lot, it will disappear."
In addition to his physical woes, Dominic thiem has also been reeling from the mental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. After suffering an early exit at last month's Dubai Tennis Championships, the World No. 4 decided to skip the Miami Masters, the Monte Carlo Masters and the Serbia Open.
During the interview, Dominic Thiem described in detail how the hard work behind his career breakthrough last year had drained him psychologically. Thiem also claimed he hadn't stopped for a moment to relish his wins, which had further complicated his mindset.
"When you fight for a goal, you leave everything for it and you achieve it, everything changes," Thiem said. "However, in tennis everything goes very fast, you don't have time to enjoy the victory, and if you are not 100%, you lose. It happened to me this year."
"The best thing is not to go to tournaments if you are not well" - Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem also explained his rationale behind skipping the Serbia Open, claiming that it was best not to play while he was still mentally drained. The Austrian also insisted that the high level of competition can make it even tougher for a player to get into the right frame of mind.
"There is a lot of level and the rivals are strong," Thiem said. "The best thing is not to go to the tournaments if you are not well. If I had played in Belgrade and had lost in the first round, I would have entered that negative spiral. I prefer to be at home."