Dominic Thiem tumbles in Rio, but why was he actually there?

A few years ago I described Dominic Thiem’s tennis tour as a series of Coach Trip trying to visit everywhere in a short amount of time.

His scheduling has gotten better and he has been challenging at the highest level in mens lately but I’m still surprised as to why he decided to play on clay in Rio this week.

Clay is his favoured surface which I understand and he has history with the tournament but I don’t believe a random week on right now is a good idea.

Dominic’s match on Tuesday last week was his first in 16 days following his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final.

During that time I’d expect some rest and training ahead of Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami so throwing in Rio to me didn’t make sense.

Thiem would have had to have practiced on the clay but would have a warm-up hard event been better if he wanted matches.

Thiem was far from convincing in any of his matches in Rio and lost 6-7 5-7 to Gianluca Mager who before this week had won two career matches on the tour and is ranked at 128 in the world. I saw Thiem’s first match of the week against Brazilian wildcard Rodrigues Alves and he was off the pace.

I’m a big believer of playing to build momentum and I really like what Dominic Thiem does on a tennis court but this decision baffled me slightly. I get he has connections to the event but he’s gotta be selfish. With Federer out for some time he needs to properly nail down this No.3 position in the rankings now.

I think he will find it difficult heading to Acapulco now having not played a hard court match for over three weeks when the majority of the field (baring Nadal) have played some matches since Melbourne.

I’m interested to see how he does get on in Acapulco, he will be hoping for a run before his title defence at Indian Wells in a few weeks and he could play in the Davis Cup qualifiers. Austria’s tie with Uruguay is a home time and on the hard courts there so it could be beneficial to both parties!

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