Wolfgang Thiem, the father of World No. 3 Dominic Thiem, spoke about the contribution of coach Nicolas Massu to the development of Thiem's game in recent times as well as his own role in the career of his son, who is now among the top players in the game.
Wolfgang Thiem on the contribution of Nicolas Massu and the maturity of Dominic Thiem
In an interview to Polsatsport, Wolfgang Thiem says Massu, an Olympic gold medallist, has helped his son play with more freedom and confidence.
"Nico made Dominic play with more freedom and responsibility. During his stay at Gunter's academy, Bresnik was for Dominic like a great authority who treated him fatherly, as Dominic was 12 years old at the time. Dominic had great respect for him, sometimes being a bit scared in his conversations with Gunter.
It's a bit like talking to your boss when you are sometimes afraid to ask a question. Up to a point, when Dominic was 18/19, it was all very important. If I could go back to 2014 or 2015, I would have already made the changes that happened when Dominic was 20/21.
In my opinion, it was already three or four years too late. It ended well in the end. Now Dominic shows a lot of freedom on the court. You can see that he is more confident. This is important because you also mature as a human."
Wolfgang says he and his wife have also matured along with their son during their times on the tennis circuit - right from the start in the juniors to the current times. "I have to say that as Dominic matured, my wife and I also matured with him during this period - from Tennis Europe to ITF Juniors to being professional.
The most important thing is to always have a positive attitude. As a parent, it's hard to find the right words because as I mentioned, you react emotionally. As a trainer you keep more distance because this is your job, you are able to be more objective.
It was hard. It is much better now because I have gained experience myself." Dominic Thiem lost a very close final in Melbourne earlier this year to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a tough five-setter but Wolfgang says that despite the loss, Dominic has been maintaining a high level of consistency in recent years.
"It was a very balanced game. It was 2-1 in sets, then it was 2-1 in set 4, there were breakpoints. If Dominic had managed to break, perhaps he would have won his first Grand Slam title. Sometimes you win tough matches, sometimes you lose.
The most important thing, however, is to maintain the same high level all the time, which has been seen in the case of Dominic for several years."