Dominic Thiem has opened up about the pressure that becoming a Grand Slam champion has put on him and how he is still processing and digesting it.
Thiem became only the third man to win a Grand Slam in the last ten years that wasn't Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.
The Big three domination of the men's Grand Slams has made it almost impossible for the younger generation to make their mark, but Thiem succeeded in the 2020 US Open, with what he hopes will be the first of many.
However, Thiem has said that that win has impacted how he now approaches the tournaments and that while his game isn't necessarily affected, his mentality is.
"That (understanding) put a lot of pressure on me. At the US Open, I somehow turned it around," Thiem said on his tournament expectations.
"Those struggles came again, before the Australian Open.
"Approaching a Grand Slam with the hope to win it, is different from approaching it with the belief that it can be won.
"I've only been in this situation one year, I still have to learn how to deal with it."
"The huge power that I generate, I can hit winners from anywhere," he said. "No matter how close the scoreline, I have trust in my shots. i have that ability of hitting winners out of nowhere."
"It's such a big thing to realize your career goal. In the beginning, I didn't realise how much it took out of me. In a way, it still does.
"Dealing with it, digesting it, it's a process I still have to learn."
Thiem has had an unsuccessful start to the 2021 season, performing poorly at the Australian Open, Doha and Dubai before withdrawing from the Miami Open, Barcelona and Monte-Carlo. He is expected to return to his first clay event in Belgrade mid April.
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