‘Australian Open left me feeling empty,’ says Dominic Thiem as he opens up on mental struggles

Dominic Thiem says his Australian Open campaign left him feeling ’empty’ despite winning an incredible match against Nick Kyrgios.

Thiem was two sets down against Kyrgios in the third round, but was able to stage a superb fightback to win the match in front of an feisty crowd in Melbourne.

The wheels came off in the next round, though, when he lost in straight sets to Grigor Dimitrov in an empty stadium after a COVID outbreak forced a regional circuit-breaker lockdown.

That switch from such a great atmosphere to silence was difficult to ‘cope’ with, according to Thiem, and he exited the tournament feeling very down on his game.

When asked by Der Standard about the Australian Open, Thiem said: “It was a lot of effort for relatively little return.

“I played one of the most memorable matches of my life against local hero Kyrgios, I came back from two sets down.

“The atmosphere in Melbourne was incredible, even if those people weren’t cheering for me. And suddenly it was lockdown.

“I came back into the locker room late at night, sweaty, and the facility was being evacuated in the meantime, like a nuclear incident.

“Two days later against Dimitrov the mid-day heat was extreme and there wasn’t anyone. I didn’t push through, to cope with that situation.

“I feel a certain emptiness, but it’s not that big of a deal. I didn’t even watch the football Champions League last week, it’s a tragedy.

“I also hardly followed the tennis tournament in Monte Carlo.”

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