World No. 3 Dominic Thiem suffered a shock fourth-round exit at the 2021 Australian Open on Sunday, losing 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 to Grigor Dimitrov. The Austrian suffered a rare beatdown at a Major that led many to wonder if his energy-sapping five-setter against Nick Kyrgios had compromised his fitness.
While speaking to the media after the match, Dominic Thiem claimed that he lost the match on Sunday due to a combination of factors, including certain ‘little physical issues’. Thiem mentioned that he doesn’t consider himself to be physically infallible, before quipping that he'd like to be a 'machine' if that was possible.
Dominic Thiem further revealed that he wasn’t at his best physically, stressing that you need to be at your best to win such matches. According to the reigning US Open champion, Grigor Dimitrov's extraordinary performance together with his own misfires were what led to the shock result.
"The thing also is that I'm also not a machine,” said Thiem. “I mean, sometimes I would like to be, but there are really, really bad days. As soon as you're not a hundred percent there on the court on this level, then results like this come up, and that's exactly what happened today."
“I think a combination of some things, some little physical issues, plus a real bad day, plus the fact that, well, he’s a great player," the Austrian added. "So a combination of those three things, and a result like that can happen.”
Dominic Thiem did not delve deeper into his ailments despite being probed about it by the media. The Austrian asserted that he does not wish to ‘find any excuses’ for his defeat.
“Some little physical issues,” Thiem said. “I don’t want to go closer to them. I don’t want to find any excuses."
Dominic Thiem might have struggled with something, but I also want to give myself credit: Grigor Dimitrov
Dominic Thiem getting bageled is a very rare sight in tennis, and even more so in Grand Slams. The last time the Austrian lost a set by a 6-0 margin at a Major was at the 2017 French Open against Rafael Nadal - which is not too surprising given the Spaniard's prowess on clay.
However, such a scoreline against Grigor Dimitrov turned heads all over the tennis world. Many struggled to believe the level of the Bulgarian, who played a near-perfect match from start to finish.
Speaking after his win, Dimitrov claimed that he was rewarded for his consistency against Thiem. The 29-year-old also opined that while his counterpart’s game may have been hampered by injury, that did not want take anything away from his own efforts.
"Throughout the season you just have one of those matches where you keep the ball rolling and today was one of those days," Dimitrov said. “I was trying to entirely focus on what I was doing and the gameplan I had. I think he might have actually struggled with something, I don’t know, but I also want to give myself credit for staying focused and composed throughout the three sets.”