Don’t play tennis because you can make money: Dominic Thiem’s father

Dominic Thiem has been in top-10 from 2016, and thus it was no surprise when he joined hands with coach Nicolas Massu, owner of two Olympic gold medals.

Dominic Thiem

Austria's Dominic Thiem reacts during a match against Jannik Sinner of Italy during the bett1ACES tennis tournament at Hangar 6 of the former airport Tempelhof on July 19, 2020.   -  Getty Images

The new hero of world tennis Dominic Thiem is all set to challenge the dominant trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and their monopoly of the Grand Slam titles.

The 27-year-old Dominic has been in top-10 from 2016, and thus it was no surprise when he stepped it up to the next level after having joined hands with coach Nicolas Massu, owner of two Olympic gold medals.

Sharing an insight about Dominic’s growth on topleveltennis.com/in, his father Wolfgang has revealed that the target was not about professional tennis when the kid was hitting for hours on the garage door and on the wall.

"Don’t play tennis because you can make money. We never had a goal that Dominic should become professional. Parents have a role to guide the kids right through their whole career," Wolfgang said.

He recalled how as a 10-year-old Dominic had won a tournament which fetched a ticket to the US and how he started playing the international events like Orange bowl when he was 12. It was at this stage, Dominic was made to change to the classic one-handed backhand.



"When he was under-14, he was about top-30 in Europe. By 15, he grew up equal and competed with really good players," he said.

Dominic’s breakthrough was in 2010, when he won two  events of grade-1 and 2 in South America.

"He lost first round at the Junior French Open, but it was a nice experience," Wolfgang remembered.

In 2011, Dominic reached the French Open junior final, losing 6-8 in the third set to Bjorn Fratangelo of the US. He reached a career best junior rank of No.2.

"When Dominic moved into men’s circuit in 2012, it looked like a different sport. He won a Challenger in 2013, and started winning big tournaments in 2015 to make the top-100. It was a milestone when he beat Jarkko Nieminen in 2014," he said.

Wolfgang was grateful to two investors "who believed in Dominic" and made it possible to meet the tennis budget through his junior career.

Among other things, Wolfgang had one big advice to all aspiring players, "choose tournaments that fit your development, and not the ones that fit your wallet."

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