Dominic Thiem lost a closely-fought match to Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Thursday. Thiem dominated for large parts of the match but it was the Spaniard who was more clutch in the closing stages, ultimately prevailing 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-4.
The loss continues Dominic Thiem's run of early exits in 2021. The Austrian lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open, and managed just one victory at the preceding ATP Cup.
But while speaking to the media after the match, Thiem asserted that he was 'quite satisfied' with his overall performance at Doha. The 27-year-old believes that things are heading in the 'right direction' for him, and that he will be able to build on this and put in a better showing at the upcoming Dubai Open.
"In general, I am quite satisfied with my performance," Thiem said. "I fought today from the beginning to the end. I think that today has been another step in the right direction. I will try to continue with this dynamic and use my tennis in this tournament for Dubai."
Dominic Thiem is confident he can make the necessary changes to bring forth his 'best version' again, especially now that tournaments will be coming in thick and fast. The Austrian pointed out that the field in Qatar was a remarkably strong one despite it being an ATP 250 event.
Dominic Thiem had faced the hot-hitting Aslan Karatsev in the second round of the Qatar Open on Wednesday. After losing the first set in a see-saw tiebreak, Thiem came back strongly to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-2.
"Today I am confident enough in my game and in my level to be aware that in any week I can take a great leap forward," Thiem said. "I know I can show my best version again. It is clear that this week the tournament was brutal. Yesterday I beat Karatsev, a player who has just made the semifinals at the Australian Open. Today I lost against Roberto, who is number 13 in the world. Tomorrow he faces Rublev."
"It is a very strong tournament in which it is quite difficult to go far," the Austrian added. "I feel that I have taken a step in the right direction, and as I said I want to continue on this path towards Dubai."
"It's nothing too bad" - Dominic Thiem on his foot injury
Dominic Thiem has been plagued with a foot injury for several months now. Blisters and constant pain have been part and parcel of Thiem’s life since his 2020 French Open campaign, and the issue was aggravated during both last year's Vienna Open and this year’s Australian Open.
Thiem revealed that his feet have been a cause of concern right from his early years, but added that the condition isn’t particularly worrisome right now.
"Yeah, I mean, it's nothing too bad," Thiem revealed. "I feel it almost in every match. I think there is little damage on both feet since very young age, and of course it's sometimes a little bit painful but nothing to worry about. I feel it in almost every match. Well, I'm able to deal with it."