Dominic Thiem gets flooded with heavy insults after shock defeat at Zadar Challenger

Critics and hecklers let Thiem hear it after his first-round exit in Zadar.

by Dzevad Mesic
Dominic Thiem gets flooded with heavy insults after shock defeat at Zadar Challenger
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Dominic Thiem received some pretty harsh criticism and insults after losing to a player ranked outside the top-200 at the Zadar Challenger as the Austrian's biggest critics used his latest loss to reiterate their claims that it's time for him to walk away from pro tennis. 

Thiem, a former world No, 3, entered this week's Zadar Challenger, where he was the No. 1 seed. In his opener, Thiem clinched a very notable win as he defeated 2017 Paris Masters finalist Filip Krajinovic 6-2 7-6 (4). 

But after starting with a win over former world No. 26 Krajinovic, Thiem suffered a shock loss to fellow Austrian Lukas Neumayer as the world No. 219 destroyed the 2020 US Open champion 6-2 6-1 in the Zadar round-of-16. 

For Thiem, who is now ranked at No. 90 in the world, it was his second consecutive loss against a player ranked outside the top-200. Last week, Thiem disappointingly exited the Szekesfehervar Challenger in the first round after world No. 302 Daniel Michalski handed him a 6-3 6-4 loss. 

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem© Getty Images Sport - Jonathan DiMaggio

This season, 30-year-old Thiem is just 1-2 on the main level and he has the same record on the Challenger level. 

The heavy insults that Thiem received on Instagram 

"LOSER time to RETIRE," one person wrote.

Another critic wrote a detailed explanation to Thiem why he believes it's time for the Austrian to retire: "What are you waiting for Domi, you are embarrassing yourself and team. Maybe with this result you just let it go, it's over, you won't achieve anything else. Your mentality and your tennis isn't there and won't come back. Knowing when to retire is important too, you are just a shade on court."

One suggested that Thiem's recent Challenger losses indicate that he is "lost." "You get destroyed in a Challenger, how can we believe you again..... Feel like you just lost yourself."

Another heckler issued some harsh words on Thiem, calling him "a clown" and expressing shock at the fact that the Austrian is a Grand Slam champion. 

Thiem has been dealing with this for quite some time

Just a couple of months after accomplishing his dream of becoming a Grand Slam champion at Flushing Meadows in 2020, Thiem suffered a wrist injury at the start of the grass season in 2021 June. Initially, it was believed to be something minor that would not sideline the Austrian for more than two months. 

But Thiem's wrist wasn't recovering as expected and the Austrian ended up missing a lot more before returning to tennis in 2022 March. Since returning to tennis two years ago, the 30-year-old Austrian has been trying to return to his old form but it just isn't happening. 

While Thiem has been giving his best to rediscover his game that was once making him one of the best in the game, some critics have been trying to convince him for some time that it is too late for him to rediscover his old form and that he should simply retire.

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem© Getty Images Sport - Jonathan DiMaggio

How Thiem lost to Neumayer in Zadar and what's next for him?

Although Thiem entered the match as the favorite, it went wrong for the former world No. 3 right from the start as he got broken in the second game and found himself down 0-3 through the opening three games. 

After a very slow start, Thiem finally started showing signs of life as he served out the fourth game to get on the board and then also had a great chance to get the break back in the fifth game - but he missed out on four break points as Neumayer managed to open a 4-1 lead. 

Thiem paid the price for failing to get the break when he had a chance as in the eighth game - when he was serving to stay in the match - he got broken for the second time in the first set as Neumayer won the opener with a 6-2 scoreline.

After losing the first set, Thiem also got off to a rough start to the second set, losing his serve in the second game. Down by a set and 0-2 in the second set, the 2020 US Open champion had a chance to the early break back but didn't convert any of his three break points in the third game as Neumayer went 3-0 up.

After failing to get the break back, Thiem dropped his serve once again in the fourth game as Neumayer won that game and also served out the fifth game for a 5-0 second-set lead. 

In the sixth game, Thiem finally managed to hold on to one of his service games and end Neumayer's run of seven consecutive games won. But it was too late for Thiem as Neumayer served out for a routine 6-2 6-1 win in the following game. 

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Next week, Thiem is competing at the Naples Challenger, where he will try to bounce back and forget his disappointing Zadar run.

Dominic Thiem