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Thiem Suffers R1 Heartbreak, Determined To Return To ‘Tennis Heaven’
Dominic Thiem is eager to continue his return to form despite a tough five-set loss to Pedro Cachin on Monday in the first round at Roland Garros.
More than a year ago Thiem began his comeback from a wrist injury against Cachin. The Austrian believes he is in a much better place now.
“There's no comparison. Back then I was not ready to play. I shouldn't have even played. Today I was definitely ready to play, to fight. That's what I did obviously,” Thiem said. “I didn't start well at all. How should I say, I was very tight. What I was expecting, I had very, very good practice sets. but most of the times in the first real match it's not that easy, and that's what happened.
“I was fighting back great, starting to play a bit better. And then, yeah, I missed to do the last step, to reward myself, to give myself a chance to play a second round maybe a little bit looser. I was not able to do it.”
During Thiem’s post-match press conference, a reporter recalled the Austrian once saying after losing a Roland Garros final to Rafael Nadal that he had gone from “tennis heaven” to “tennis hell”. His journey from near the top of the sport to rock bottom due to his wrist injury has felt similar, he said.
“It was exactly like that, from tennis heaven to tennis hell, and now hopefully back to tennis heaven. It was really, really great experiences like in the previous years, and now also it's a very good challenge what I'm facing right now,” Thiem said. “It's tough obviously, but I'm really convinced with the way that I'm on right now, especially the last six weeks. That's when I started to be really into my career again, really push myself every day to the limit.
“But, on the same hand, six weeks is not enough yet to make a deep run here. I have to continue working like that. Yeah, today I failed to reward myself. Hopefully the next tournament I can do it.”
The 29-year-old might have lost in Paris, but the two-time Roland Garros finalist is upbeat about what is to come. The No. 92 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings is determined to continue improving.
“[It was] changing perspectives again and then changing my attitude again towards the game from thinking about or thinking of giving 100 per cent, but not really [doing] it, to really [doing] it again. That's what changed,” Thiem said. “The last six weeks were really good. But, yeah, obviously it's not enough yet to play well, to play well in a tournament like that. But, yeah, again, I feel that I'm on the right track again. Today I just failed to reward myself.”
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