Dominic Thiem could be showing the ‘ultimate signs of depression,’ according to a historic observation by Mats Wilander.
Thiem has not looked himself on court for the most part this year, cutting a subdued figure in early exits at the Australian Open, as well as Doha and Dubai.
Since then he has withdrawn from three tournaments – Miami, Monte-Carlo, and Belgrade – saying he needs to ‘reset,’ as well as battle a knee injury.
However, he has also spoken about how he has struggled to refocus his goals after winning the US Open last year, and how COVID restrictions have taken ‘all the good things away from the Tour.’
It is his on-court demeanour that is perhaps most worrying, though, as highlighted by a previous observation.
“For a tennis player, the ultimate indicator of depression is when you are on the court and you no longer feel the visceral urge to win,” Wilander once wrote for L’Equipe.
“When the outcome doesn’t really matter anymore, it’s an alert. It’s like a sporting death.”
Novak Djokovic also expressed concern for Thiem, and he also worries the Austrian ace is just one of many players suffering right now.
“I’ve heard that he is struggling with how he is feeling,” Djokovic said. “He’s a bit exhausted with the restrictions in the bubble life on the tour.
“I understand what he’s been going through because we all go through that.
“Most of the players are experiencing some of the mental issues and motivational issues – playing in front of empty stands, traveling and not being able to go out of their hotel room – just being restricted to the tennis courts and the hotel.”
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