Ironman Thiem Saying “No” More Often
With better scheduling, and more rest, the Austrian star hopes to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals
Dominic Thiem is notorious for racking up the air miles to chase match wins, similar to another former hard-working globe-trotter Yevgeny Kafelnikov. But with a third straight qualification to the Nitto ATP Finals on the line, the Austrian has become wary of over-loading his tournament schedule.
Speaking ahead of the Rolex Shanghai Masters, Thiem admitted, “I [have] tried to play a little bit less tournaments… Especially at the end of the year, it's important to watch your schedule, not to do too much, not to run out of gas, because it's been a long and a very demanding season.”
Since the start of the 2016 ATP World Tour season to date, Thiem has contested 221 matches — 58-24 in 2016, 49-27 in 2017 and he is currently 48-15 this year — to maintain his place in the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings.
“It’s still pretty far away to London, but of course I hope that I will make it,” said Thiem, who qualified for the season finale at The O2 for the past two years. “Consistency is one of the most important things in tennis… It's really, really difficult to go deep in almost every tournament you play, and I think that's what makes the top four guys nowadays so special because they did it for [more than] 10 years.”
Having seen Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer all book their places at the Nitto ATP Finals, Thiem sits in the eighth and final automatic qualification spot with just four weeks left in the regular ATP World Tour season. Alexander Zverev is next in line to qualify with 4,410 points in the ATP Race To London, followed by Marin Cilic (3,815), Kevin Anderson (3,540) and Thiem (3,525).