What do Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras have in common, apart the wins of the US Open? Everything seemed to be going perfectly for Austrian Dominic Thiem, who lifted his first Grand Slam trophy in New York in September 2020, where he beat friend Alexander Zverev in the final with a score of 2-6 4-6 6 -4 6-3 7-6.
Subsequently, Dominic participated in Roland Garros in Paris and in the home tournament in Vienna, being defeated in the quarter-finals of both events respectively by Diego Schwartzman (one of the best players of last season) and Andrej Rublev, another particularly fit player in the recent months.
Arrived in London on the occasion of the ATP Finals, Thiem found his best tennis by overcoming Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, only to lose in the last match (just like in 2019) against Russian Daniil Medvedev, winner 4-6 7 -6 6-4.
Paul Annacone is a difficult problem
This year, Thiem played to the fullest in the round of 16 at the Australian Open (stopped by Grigor Dimitrov in three sets) and the quarter-finals in Doha, where he was unable to overtake an excellent Roberto Bautista Agut.
The defeat suffered in Dubai in the first round, suffered against South African Lloyd Harris in two sets, was very painful. American Paul Annacone, former coach of great champions such as Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, spoke of the numerous difficulties perceived by several players after earning the first Major title.
He said: "When you reach this penultimate level with a lot of work, it is logical to ask the question: And now? Roger and Pete have talked to me very often about the difference between getting there and staying there."
Thiem, a finalist in two consecutive editions of Roland Garros, preferred to give up the last edition of the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, in order to recover his condition in the best possible way. "I think that once you get to this point, real problems arise such as: 'What should I do and what gives me joy? Do I have to go on or do I already feel fulfilled? ' This is what Dominic Thiem has to understand," concluded Annacone, as published by We Love Tennis.