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"I don't want to reduce Bresnik's share, but at some point it will be enough" - Dominic Thiem's father on legal battle with ex-coach

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem
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Modified 23 Sep 2020, 21:45 IST
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While Dominic Thiem has been making the news for all the right reasons on the tennis front in recent weeks, winning his first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open, there has been also been some unsavory noise on the legal front for him.

His father Wolfgang Thiem had recently confirmed that former coach Gunter Bresnik has sued the family. Now, Wolfgang has provided some further insight into the legal fight between the two parties.

Bresnik had coached Dominic Thiem since the time the Austrian was eight years old up until last year. Thiem has been working with Chile's Nicolas Massu since 2019.

Dominic Thiem has been working with Nicolas Massu since last year
Dominic Thiem has been working with Nicolas Massu since last year

The 27-year-old had also added former World No. 1 Thomas Muster to his team in January, but that collaboration ended only after a couple of weeks. Thiem insisted that the pair did not make a good fit professionally, and the split was reportedly amicable.

The story has been very different in the case of Bresnik though.

There are things that are not right: Dominic Thiem's father on legal battle with Bresnik

Gunter Bresnik has written a book called "The Dominic Thiem Method", describing the roadmap he implemented to mold the Austrian into an elite tennis player. The book also throws light on some of Thiem's unusual training methods, and makes it clear that the relationship between the two was very close.

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But since their split last year, the two parties have not been on great terms to say the least. According to Wolfgang, Bresnik is demanding a share of Dominic's earnings on the grounds that he has had a significant influence on the World No. 3's game.

Wolfgang conceded that Bresnik did have an important role to play in molding Dominic Thiem's technical skills, but questioned whether his son's future achievements should perpetually be attributed to the 59-year-old.

"It's like being in a marriage. Bresnik has a huge part in the success of Dominic, especially from 12 to 16 he did a great job, it was mostly about technical training. The only question is: when does it stop being paid?" Wolfgang Thiem said in an interview.
Dominic Thiem of Austria with Gunter Bresnik at the 2016 ATP Finals in London
Dominic Thiem of Austria with Gunter Bresnik at the 2016 ATP Finals in London

Wolfgang further went on to cite the example of journalists, claiming that they wouldn't be expected to pay their elementary teachers a share of whatever they earn from their job.

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"A journalist won't transfer his elementary school teacher some money every month because he can write well. There are things that are not right. I don't want to reduce Bresnik's share, but at some point it will be enough. Dominic was so good at 16 that he needed a manager. Today I know that managers and coaches have to be clearly separated," Wolfgang added.

Dominic Thiem is scheduled to arrive in Paris on Wednesday for the French Open, which begins on Sunday. The World No. 3 is considered to be one of the top contenders for the Roland Garros title this year along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but it remains to be seen whether this court battle with Bresnik affects his mindset on the court.

Published 23 Sep 2020, 21:45 IST
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