Dominic Thiem's manager Herwig Straka recently cleared the air on why the World No. 4 has withdrawn from the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters. Speaking to German tabloid Kleine Zeitun, Straka claimed that Thiem hasn't done as much training as he wanted to in the aftermath of his early exits from Doha and Dubai.
The German also cited the fact that Monte Carlo is facing a second lockdown due to COVID-19, which has made the situation "tough".
"He wants to take more time to practice," Herwig Straka replied when asked why Dominic Thiem was sitting out of the Monte Carlo Masters. "Also, the situation in France is tough because of lockdown and in Monte Carlo he has never played really well."
Dominic Thiem has never gone past the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo, which probably made it an easier decision for him to skip it this year.
The Serbia Open will be Dominic Thiem's first tournament of the 2021 clay season
Herwig Straka also disclosed Dominic Thiem's provisional schedule for the European clay swing.
It had been reported earlier that Thiem would be joining World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the 2021 Serbia Open, an ATP 250 tournament where the Djokovic family is heavily involved. Straka confirmed that news, before listing the other claycourt events that Thiem will participate in this year.
The 27-year-old will follow the Belgrade event by playing the Madrid Masters, the Rome Masters and Roland Garros.
"He plans to play Belgrade, Madrid, Rome, French Open," Straka said.
Dominic Thiem had skipped the Rome Masters last year, while the Madrid Masters was cancelled due to the pandemic. In 2021 so far the Austrian has pulled out of two Masters tournaments already - Miami and Monte Carlo - citing the need to put in more hours on the practice court.
Besides his problems with form, Thiem has also been troubled by a recurring right foot injury lately. That is caused by his tendency to slide on hardcourts (according to his father Wolfgang), so the 27-year-old would certainly welcome the chance to resume playing on clay.