Dominic Thiem has his persistent foot injury due to the demands of sliding on hard courts, his father has revealed, but he insists it is not a big problem.
Thiem hobbled away from the Vienna Open last season with severe blistering on his feet, and it then kept him out of the Paris Masters too.
This year, he has opened up on his struggles with the injury more, revealing it’s something that he feels in every match he plays.
His father, Wolfgang, though, says there is nothing especially worrying going on, and it’s a situation that is under constant management.
“Basically, he’s fine,” Wolfgang told Kleine Zeitung. “We just had to check a few things.
“But these are small things that always occur when Dominic plays on hardcourt. Certain differences also play a role on the surface.”
“In Vienna, for example, the hard court is extremely rough whereas in Australia it is much smoother.
“That is why you have to adjust to the hard court all the time. This change is often more difficult than the one from a slow hard court to clay – it can result in extreme strains.
“Everyone has their weak point, for [Novak] Djokovic and [Matteo] Berrettini it’s the abdominal muscles, for [Juan Martin] del Potro it’s the joints, for Dominic it’s the foot.
“But it’s nothing serious, otherwise, it would also hurt when he doesn’t put any weight on his foot. Dominic always has problems on hardcourt because he slides.
“Over the years, a callus developed – and if this area is subjected to too much stress, an irritation can occur.
“So you have to give it a few days of rest. In any case, it’s good that he’s switching to clay now.”
It has been suggested that Thiem could manage the issue with different footwear, but Wolfgang has dismissed that, saying it it’s nowhere near that simple.
“The whole thing also has to do with the foot position, but he counteracts that with insoles.
“The problem is that with a top athlete, the whole package is an established system. Everything is finely turned and has to fit together.
“If we were to leave out the insoles or use different ones, that could help with the problem, but at the same time cause another even bigger problem.
“The same applies to shoes. You can’t just change them. So you either put up with the foot problems or you experiment around, but that can make things worse.
“When things are going well, you deal with the problem better. But the foot is not an issue that limits him massively.
“At least at the moment. When wear and tear appears in old age, it could be different.”
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