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I still love Dominic Thiem the tennis player, he is better than Zverev or Tsitsipas: Gunter Bresnik

Dominic Thiem at the Mutua Madrid Open in May 2021
Dominic Thiem at the Mutua Madrid Open in May 2021
Rohan Pai
CONTRIBUTOR

Mentor, manager, coach - Gunter Bresnik played every possible role in the book for 15 years to mold Dominic Thiem into a strong competitor at the highest level of tennis. Unfortunately, however, their relationship didn't stand the test of time.

Thiem ended their long-term alliance at the beginning of the 2019 season due to differences in opinion. Bresnik then sued Thiem for €450,000, alleging that the 2020 US Open champion made money from sponsorship and endorsement deals that were secured by him.

The dispute finally came to an end in March 2021, with an out-of-court settlement which ended in a "good clarifying conversation" between the two sides. And on the occasion of his 60th birthday earlier this week, Gunter Bresnik spoke with Heute where he briefly discussed his current feelings about Dominic Thiem and the incident which ensued soon after their split.

Bresnik revealed he is still wary of Thiem's legal team, stating that a "lawyer letter" comes up in response to anything that he says about the Austrian.

"With Dominic I always have to be careful what I say, because then a lawyer letter comes along," Bresnik said.

But the 60-year-old went on to claim that the future of tennis still lies with Dominic Thiem. According to Bresnik, Thiem is technically superior to the likes of Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas - the two youngsters that many believe will take over the reins of men's tennis once the Big 3 retire.

"I'm still in love with Dominic, the tennis player," Bresnik said. "For me, technically and in terms of play, he the best when talking about the future of tennis. Dominic is better than Zverev or Tsitsipas."

"I don't like when others portray Dominic Thiem as if he were stupid" - Gunter Bresnik

Dominic Thiem at the 2021 French Open in May
Dominic Thiem at the 2021 French Open in May

There has been plenty of chaos over the Australian government's stern stance on vaccination and quarantine requirements for players to participate in the Melbourne Slam. In that context, it is pertinent to note that Dominic Thiem is yet to be vaccinated as he is waiting for a specific vaccine (Novavax) to be available for use.

Many have questioned Thiem for waiting this long, with some even calling him "stupid". But Gunter Bresnik believes it is wrong for people to comment on the issue and target the 28-year-old regarding his decision.

"What I don't like is when others portray him (Thiem) as if he were stupid," Bresnik said. "I don't like it when people want to proselytize others. And when people are judged because they think in a different direction."

Gunter Bresnik also gave an insight into the caring and sensible person he knows Dominic Thiem to be. The 60-year-old also mentioned that he holds a high opinion of people who get tested regularly, irrespective of their vaccination status.

"Dominic has always obeyed his body extremely closely," Bresnik said. "I don't think he's someone who endangers others. He has grandparents who are important to him."
"I like people who get tested," he added. "They shouldn't be pilloried."

Edited by Musab Abid
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