Our lives are constantly subject to change, but many changes take place unconsciously. However, old values and knowledge break apart but exactly that creates possibilities to link other pieces together.
It is April 1, 1989, just a few minutes after midnight. The young Austrian Thomas Muster defeated the Frenchman Yannick Noah and want to take out some things from the trunk of the transport service car. Then it squeaks. A car runs over Muster.
The collateral and cruciate ligaments of his left knee are worn out and the continuation of his career is uncertain. The rest is history. Muster fights back and becomes the No: 1 of the ATP world ranking and wins the French Open.
Now, after a break of more than six weeks, Dominic Thiem returns to tournament tennis today at 6 pm. Can Thiem copy the journey of Muster? Are he and his environment ready to reinvent themselves and find new ways? Do they have the resilience and the knowledge? I hope so!
Thiem has most recently prepared for Salzburg in Barcelona. The former number three in the world rankings is hoping for his first win in 419 days. Thiem suffered a wrist injury at the lawn tournament in Mallorca on June 22 last year and has lost all seven matches since his comeback.
Thiem is struggling with his stroke-feeling and the court positions. Though, these things are normal when a player comes back in match situations. However, the press and the fans are sometimes impatient and do not accept that the difference between a former no.3 and a no.
200 in the world is not as huge as it seems. Also, Champions have to run, hit, fight and be well prepared to win matches and have the success they are used to. And in the end, the only thing that counts for the crowd are tournament victories.
Sometimes one gets the impression that Thiem doesn´t get out at the speed that he used to. This can be a small detail in his body and shoulder position or his legwork. However, also the wrist is a big deal for Thiem. Can he use the wrist in the same way as before the injury? It seems as though Thiem still is missing the last punch and the concentration in the decisive phases.
Nevertheless, today, at 6 pm Thiem will take the next attempt at the first victory at the clay-court tournament in Salzburg. Then, we will know more!