Is Thiem’s Time to Shine Finally Coming?

The Austrian sounded more hopeful than usual after his win over Richard Gasquet in Monte-Carlo. By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday April 11, 2023

Is it finally Dominic Thiem’s time to shine again?

That’s a question that has been asked myriad times since the Austrian made his return from a nine-month hiatus due to wrist and hand injuries last March.

Tennis Express

But Thiem, a former World No.3, 2020 US Open champion and two-time Roland-Garros finalist, has needed ample time to find his form. It appeared that Thiem might be hitting his stride last last year, as he reached back-to-back semifinals at Gijon and Antwerp in late October.

But as the calendar turned, Thiem once again found himself out of sorts. He started the 2023 season with a 1-8 record and, as the losses piled up, many started to wonder: will Thiem ever return to top form again?

Things got a little drearier last week as the Austrian announced that he had parted ways with longtime coach Nicolas Massu, the man who had guided him to his biggest career triumph in New York as well as many other breakthroughs.

But things have taken a turn for the better since. After reaching the quarterfinal in Estoril last week, Thiem opened his account at Monte-Carlo with an impressive win over Richard Gasquet, his first Masters 1000 win since 2021, and afterwards expressed hope that things may indeed – finally – be going in the right direction for him.

That's three wins in four matches, but it's the way he is playing that has Thiem feeling sanguine.

“It was not the victory itself but more the way I played, which makes me think positive,” Thiem said after his 6-1, 6-4 victory over Gasquet. “There were some good signs already last week in Estoril. Now I improved even more.”

Thiem says he feels that he can unleash “full power” now without any worry about his wrist. That is something that he hasn’t expressed in quite that manner before, so maybe he has indeed turned a corner? Time will tell…

“The shots are getting way better,” he said. “I have the feeling that I can go full power for many, many shots again with the wrist. There is no restriction anymore. Now the goal is to put everything together, because there is way more to tennis, way more things required to play good matches than to just be able to hit full. That's the goal right now.”

Data will ultimately tell the story of Thiem’s “full power.” Of late, he has not returned to his pre-injury level of wicked spin and pace, and that has been made clear in tennis circles. His spin rate and pace are both significantly lower, on average, than they were before the wrist injury.

As Thiem moves forward in the clay season, with new coach Benjamin Ebrahimzadeh at his side, we’ll be keeping an eye on his form.

Thiem will face rising Dane Holger Rune in second-round action on Wednesday in Monte-Carlo. Title: Is Thiem’s Time to Shine Finally Coming?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2023 12:56:21 GMT

Did you miss our previous article…