Former WTA player Barbara Schett, of Austria, says her compatriot Dominic Thiem has been playing several exhibition events on different surfaces inn recent weeks in order to prepare for the return of the professional circuit and that she expects Thiem to be in good shape once the circuit resumes.
Barbara Schett says Dominic Thiem will be ready for the return of the circuit
Thiem, who reached the final of the Australian Open in January, prior to the tennis circuit shutdown, won 25 of his 28 exhibition matches and won four tournaments in recent weeks during the shutdown of the tennis circuit.
Speaking to Eurosport, Schett says this approach works for the Austrian. "Apparently Dominic needs that and is fueling self-confidence. Dominic has always played many tournaments and is one of the toughest competitors."
The former Top 10 player says Thiem is trying to play on different surfaces as the US Open and French Open have been scheduled very close to one another on the calendar. The Austrian plans to play in Cincinnati as well as the US Open following which he will head back to Europe to play on the clay court circuit, including the French Open Grand Slam event.
Several other higher ranked players have chosen not to compete on the exhibition events during the shutdown, focusing instead on training and practicing during these past few months. 44 year old Barbara Schett is a former Top 10 player who peaked at No.
7 in the world rankings in 1999. She won 3 WTA singles and 10 WTA doubles titles in her career. She retired after the 2005 Australian Open and now works for Eurosport as a commentator and presenter. The 26 year old Dominic Thiem is ranked a career best No.
3 in the world rankings and is the second highest ranked Austrian player in history, behind Thomas Muster, who reached the No. 1 spot in 1996. He has won 16 ATP Tour singles titles, including the 2019 BNP Paribas Open Masters Series event, and has reached three Grand Slam finals.
Thiem reached the finals of the 2018 and 2019 French Open, losing to Spain's Rafael Nadal on both occasions, and the 2020 Australian Open, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. With Roger Federer out for the rest of the season, Thiem will be one of the main challengers to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and World no. 2 Rafael Nadal at the upcoming major events when the ATP Tour resumes in August.