‘I just needed time’ – Dominic Thiem confident of improvement at Australian Open

Dominic Thiem says he expects his tennis to improve after he was given a bit of an Australian Open scare by Mikhail Kukushkin.

Thiem came through the match comfortably in the end 7-6, 6-2, 6-3, although he had to save a set point early on after making a very slow start.

He, though, puts that down to a number of factors, and he is sure he will improve as the tournament progresses.

“I just needed some time to adjust,” Thiem explained.

“Also it was interesting because I never faced him, which is not that often anymore, as I’ve almost faced everybody on tour already.

“The first set was very close. I needed some time to get used to the fast and quick conditions, but in general it was a great first round of a Grand Slam.

“I felt nervous because it was a long time until the slam, more than three weeks from when we arrived in Adelaide.

“It was not easy. It was amazing that we could practice, but three weeks is a long time, and if you’re unlucky or especially me, if I practice somehow too many days in a row, I start to play worse again instead of better.

“So I really had to find the right balance.”

Thiem also commented on the use of electronic line-calls, with the Australian Open opting to dispense with line-judges completely this year.

“Honestly, I like it without lines-people,” he said. “No offence at all but there are just no mistakes happening and that’s really good in my opinion because if the electronic calls it out, the ball is out, so there’s no room for mistakes at all.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction.”

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