'Pandemic took beautiful things away, it's not easy to deal with it,' Thiem said
Ironically, the pandemic helped Thiem, in a way, to claim his first Major crown at the US Open, feeling great about that success, as he had been chasing it for 15 years. Thiem played well in the rest of the season, but it was harder for him to deal with the current state of tennis, with no crowd in the stands or freedom to travel freely.
Dominic explained how tough it was to play in front of the fans in Melbourne Park against Nick Kyrgios and continue the encounter in front of empty stands after the lockdown, struggling more and more to accept that and winning only five matches in the current season. Also, the Austrian has been dealing with injuries, deciding to take a couple of weeks off and stay completely away from tennis. Dominic will return in Madrid, hoping for a fresh start and to raise his form ahead of Roland Garros, his most important event of the season.
"Huge parts are lost, and the coronavirus has taken beautiful things, starting with traveling and moving freely. The bad things stay. It isn't easy to play through week after week in these circumstances.
Some guys can take it, for whom life in the bubble is probably an advantage, for example, Dan Evans or Alexander Bublik. They have problems focusing on sport in normal times. It's great for them; they concentrate exclusively on tennis, there is nothing else. It was extreme in Dubai, we were locked up, but there was a normal life outside of it. You were let out of the hotel at 9 p.m. and allowed to enter an empty stadium.
That's not so great. I've had a completely planned life for as long as I can remember. Every day, every week, every month is divided. I feel better knowing what will happen the next day. That's gone right now. I'm playing one of the most memorable matches in my life against local hero Kyrgios, and I'm getting 2-0 down. The atmosphere in Melbourne was terrific, even though people didn't stand by me. And suddenly, there was a lockdown. I came into the locker room late at night, sweaty, and the facility was evacuated in the meantime - like a nuclear accident.
The day after next against Dimitrov, there was extreme midday heat in isolation. I didn't make it pushing that through and dealing with the situation. I chased the big goal of winning a Major for 15 years without looking left or right. I achieved it - under weird circumstances, but that's not that important to me. In a way, some things fell by the wayside - private life, dealing with other things and broadening your horizons. You have to do something for your head, for your brain. There was only tennis. I want to change that a bit," Dominic Thiem said.