Thiem: ‘On Grass You Never Know What Is Going To Happen’
The World No. 5 Dominic Thiem suffered a surprise first-round defeat against Pablo Andujar at Roland Garros. But the Austrian star is keen to get his grass-court season underway with a win at the Mallorca Championships in Spain.
“Straight after Roland Garros I was going back on a practice court for almost two weeks on a hard court, still at home, just to fix my shots again, because they were not as they should be in the clay-court season,” Thiem said.
“Now I feel well again with my shots, with my footwork. I practised two days in Austria on grass courts and already four days in Mallorca and I feel pretty well. But on grass, you never know what is going to happen. The most important for me was to fix my shots, to improve my footwork, to move well again on the court and that’s what I did in Austria.”
Thiem won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last September (d. Zverev), and admits he struggled for motivation at times after achieving such a big goal of his. However, the Austrian, who is the second seed at the ATP 250 event in Mallorca, is fully focused again.
“It’s pretty normal. It happens. You’re working very hard for a certain goal, a big goal and then you finally reach it,” Thiem admitted. “In my case, [it was] after three lost [Grand Slam] finals before, so it was such a huge goal to reach and such a huge relief as well. After that, I started to think a little bit and I had a little bit of a lack of motivation as well.
“But with time passing by, it got better and better again. And now, I’m fine again, I’m normal again… I couldn’t play well enough for the French Open. Grass, you never know what’s happening, so you are just trying to gain some confidence, to practise very hard, to play well in matches.”
This is the first year of the Mallorca Championships after the tournament, which was originally set to make its debut in 2020, was cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, Thiem has spent time here before and feels comfortable on the Spanish island.“I was here five years ago. I did the coin toss for a WTA final and played an exhibition. Already back then the club was super nice,” Thiem said. “Three years ago I was on holiday here. Two or three months ago I spent one week here, so I really love it. The weather is perfect, the weather is nice. The most important is the grass courts are super good.” Theim, who has a 14-14 career record on grass, will face World No. 42 Adrian Mannarino in his opening match.