Dominic Thiem made another big step towards a Major crown, reaching his first final outside Roland Garros and battling with Novak Djokovic for four hours and five sets before finishing runner-up in Melbourne. World no. 4 didn't play well at the ATP Finals and was on the verge of the exit door in the second round of the Australian Open, prevailing against Alex Bolt and raising level after that to advance into the third Major final.
During the fortnight, Dominic added a former Austrian no. 1 Thomas Muster to his coaching staff, working together for a couple of days before parting ways, sticking with his father and Nicolas Massu who has drastically improved his performance on hard courts in the past 12 months.
"First of all, it was good preparation because we came to Australia already on December 20 to prepare ahead of the ATP Cup," Wolfgang Thiem said. "We worked a lot on the fitness in Miami in December before hitting the court in Brisbane, playing some good matches at the ATP cup.
Dominic had a good win against Schwartzman ahead of that tight loss to Hurkacz, switching focus to the Australian Open. I think he increased his level match by match, playing well against Mannarino and embracing that challenging test versus Bolt where he had to dig deep from two sets to one down, his only encounter in Melbourne where he struggled a little bit.
But from this time, Dominic improved and better with every match, playing on a high level against Monfils and then producing that triumph against Rafael Nadal. Saving energy after that grueling battle, Dominic head enough strength in the tank to fight against Alexander Zverev and emerge at the top in that one as well.
We had some meetings with Thomas Muster at the ATP Vienna event; then, we were thinking of adding him to some certain tournaments, especially to use his experience because he won French Open and was No. 1, also being the Austrian.
Actually, after, yeah, two weeks, Dominic said that it doesn't fit together. He was an excellent player but, for me, the most important thing is that the coach understands what the player needs and not that the coach wants to make a copy of himself.
I mean, Dominic is already 26 years, so he has his personality. My main point was that Dominic needs someone who gives him space to develop and play his game. He always needs some advice, but short ones. If you have someone who says too much, who is too much into it, then it doesn't work.
I mean, it was unlucky because we had to split during a Grand Slam tournament. On the other side, you have to try it out in such an important tournament. There were no bad words between us; it simply didn't work."