Thiem’s ​​Fictional Return sports



Dominic Tim
Dominic Tim

IIt took about an hour for Dominic Thiem to really start going to Stadthalle in Vienna last Tuesday. The Austrian was defeated 6-2 by Tommy Paul in the first set of their first-round match. But Tim was now digging the long haul, and the audience could feel that.

He started taking more time between points, and using his serve more thoughtfully. He noted his design with small but regular fist pumps. He saved break points and refused to fall behind early in the set. He would look like a dead man when winning a match, no matter how long it took, or how likely it was. Thiem’s ​​fans back home, who had not seen him here for two years, supported him as loud as they could. For the next two sets, Vienna looked like New York.

Welcome to Dominic Thiem 2.0. For most of his twenties, he was the heir to the Big Three. He was twice runner-up to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, and the first player of his generation to win a major tournament, at the pandemic-ravaged 2020 US Open. It was only two years ago, but it seems like a lifetime in Tim’s career. First he was let down after such a great slam title. Then he got a wrist injury and a finger injury. Then he had covid. He went 426 days without winning a match, a streak of futility that finally ended in July. While he was gone, two young footballers – Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz – did not come to win the US Open and get to first place.

It is unfortunate that a great player lost two years of his career. But now Tim has a chance to experience the upside, because everyone loves a comeback story. He was always a crowd favorite in Vienna, but the same was true earlier this month when he reached the semi-finals in Gijon and Antwerp. When Tim was in his mid-20s and deep in the shadows of the Big Three, many of us took his game for granted: the jumping forehand, the deadly one-handed whipping backhand, the sudden, uncontrollable outbursts of German. Fans are excited to see all of that again, and glad he didn’t exit the game early, which seemed possible only a few months ago. Tim’s story has another, more sympathetic and relatable layer to it now.

Speaking of coming back, Tim needed all the quiet grit and déjà vu shot-making he could muster to take on Paul on Tuesday. As the American fired an ace to lead 5-2 in the third set, Thiem hung his head as he walked to the sideline. All seemed lost. But the masses did not allow him to surrender. In a later match, Thiem took a powerful backhand from Paul and pulled off one of his signature hands to pull off a neat winner. He brought back the old times, and stopped the masses.

But he’s not out of the woods yet. Twenty minutes later, Thiem faced two game points at 4–6 in a tiebreaker. This time he got some welcome help from Paul, who missed a long backhand and smashed an ugly forehand into the middle of the net to earn Thiem a match point. When Paul’s next comeback landed wide, Tim fell down the court as if he’d won the US Open again. We can forgive him for Euphoria; It was a long way back.

Thiem will find himself up against top seed Medvedev on Thursday. This is a meeting we are looking forward to, as is the 2023 season with Thiem. The men’s game has a new No. 1 in Alcaraz, and the younger generation looks set to follow it to the top. Tim is 29 years old, but there’s no reason he can’t be part of that new wave.

He still has the shots and the jumps, and this time he’s going to have the fans in a way he’s never done before. –Tennis.com


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