Dominic Thiem recollected an anecdote that happened when he was still at the beginning of his career. The two-time French Open finalist said: "I was in Morocco in late 2012 to play two tournaments. It was unbelievably cold and at the same time there was a national boycott.
The hotel was not well-prepared to warm the environment, it was between 0 and 5 degrees. I had no hot water, I did not have a shower for a week. The food was basically not there. And it did not happen just once. The Futures Tour is pretty tough."
Asked if he still remembers his first match as a professional, Thiem added: "Yeah, like every match. That was against Daniel Gimeno Traver in 2011 Kitzbuhel. There I saw how far I am from the professional players."
For Thiem, making a breakthrough was not easy: "It's pretty difficult to crack the top 100 rankings. You have to work points in a pretty hard way. But once you got to that level, you can stay there pretty well."
Asked if he is playing the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Thiem replied: "No, because I already committed to the Kitzbuhel tournament which coincides. But in 2024 in Paris, I want to be there." On how tennis has changed, Thiem concluded: "When I started, the top 30 or 40 players were still weaker than the top guys.
Now they are not that much worse than the top tens. The level of tennis is so high." Thiem will play the ATP Finals in London next. He will play on Sunday, 10th November against Roger Federer in the evening session. Thiem, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini have been placed in the Bjorn Borg group. Rafa Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are in the Andre Agassi group.