Dominic Thiem will work with his coeval Mate Delic, adding the Croat to his coaching staff. Delic previously worked with Borna Coric, leading his compatriot toward the 2022 Cincinnati Masters crown. Delic will try to elevate Thiem's level, with the Austrian struggling to find the form for three years.
The Austrian kicked off the 2021 season ranked 3rd. However, the results were not there, and everything became much worse for the former US Open winner after a severe wrist injury in Mallorca in June. Dominic has been ranked outside the top-70 since April 2022, and this could be his last season if he fails to take a step forward and raise his level.
Thiem is 0-2 at the ATP tournaments in 2024, facing tough draws in Brisbane in Melbourne and falling on the first obstacle.
Dominic's first rival of the new season was a 22-time Major winner Rafael Nadal!
Two great rivals battled in the first round in Brisbane, and Nadal made a winning comeback following a 7-5, 6-1 triumph in an hour and a half. It was their 16th meeting and the tenth victory for Rafa, who took charge in the closing stages of the opening set and dominated the second.
The Spaniard dropped six points behind the initial shot and kept the pressure on the other side. The Austrian could not follow that level, getting broken three times and hitting the exit door despite a solid display until 5-5 in the opener.
Rafa pushed strong on the return in the 12th game, seizing the fourth set point after Dominic's forehand error and earning a massive boost.
Dominic Thiem added Mate Delic to his coaching staff.
Nadal punched a backhand crosscourt bullet in the second game of the second set, delivering a break and extending his streak.
Rafa held at love in the third game and secured another break at 4-1 to forge a massive advantage. Nadal served for the victory in game seven, sealing the deal and celebrating his first win in almost a year. Thiem experienced another blow at the Australian Open, giving his everything against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round but falling short in a 6-3, 7-5, 6-7, 5-7, 6-3 defeat in four hours and 59 minutes!
The former finalist raised his level after the second set, prevailing in the next two to force a decider before Auger-Aliassime ended his resistance with a reliable performance in the final set.
The Canadian played better behind the first and second serve, hitting a similar number of winners and unforced errors.
Dominic clinched three breaks and got broken five times, including a crucial break at the beginning of the final set. Auger-Aliassime had the upper hand in the shortest exchanges up to four strokes, building a notable advantage in that segment and earning a hard-fought win.
The Canadian defended two break points in the first game of the final set, ending his downfall and securing a break in the next one for 2-0. Auger-Aliassime served well in the next four games, sealing the deal with a hold in game nine and sending Thiem out of the competition.
Dominic will compete at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in Oslo this weekend before taking a break until March, returning at the clay Challengers in Szekesfehevar, Zadar and Napoli. Thus, the 30-year-old will skip the season's first Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami, staying on his beloved clay and starting his collaboration with Mate Delic.