Tournament starts with qualifying on Monday, 5.03.2018.

Draw ceremony for ATP event is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, starting at 3.00 pm local time (add 9 hours for Vienna time = midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday)

Draw prediction

Thiem will be seeded 5. (Nadal pulled out), 6. will be del Potro (David Goffin pulled out), 7. Anderson, 8. Sock).

So Thiem can meet Delpo or Anderson first in QF, Zverev or Dimitrov first in SF and Federer or Cilic first in the final, but it depends of course of the half of the draw, in which Thiem will be drawn. So 1 Angstgegner (Goffin) is not there, another 2 (Anderson or Delpo) first in QF, first 4 are not his Angstgegners 😉

For first round I predict Sandgren, for second Verdasco, for third Isner and for 4. round Schwartzman.  Well, of course I’m kidding 😉

Thanks to @Anna we have these links to see Dominic training in Indian Wells 🙂

Updated 5.03.2018, 14:47

And once again from @Anna – new Dominic’s gear from Adidas for Double Sunshine

Should be good when playing “Angstgegners” 😉 And Dominic looks good in contrasting colors (black, red, white, dark blue)

Bresnik interview before Indian Wells

(Original article in German you can find HERE)

Both quarter-final defeats came against later finalists: In Brazil, Thiem was surprisingly defeated by Fernando Verdasco of Spain 4-6,0-6 in Brazil, and Juan Martin Del Potro was sure to win the title in Mexico. If Thiem wants to add to his position in the Race to London and push his way up from twelfth place in the ranking, then a good result in the coming weeks would be important.

Bresnik:”Thiem’s showing in the match against Del Potro was optimal .”
Günter Bresnik, who will be flying to Miami for the tournament at the end of next week, judges Thiems’ past performances with mixed feelings. The outcome of the tournament victory in Buenos Aires cannot be neglected. “Everyone knows that he can play better”, said Bresnik. Thiem did not play well in the match against Verdasco in Rio either. “I liked the match against Del Potro very much. Apart from the tennis itself, this has been one of the best matches I’ve ever seen. In terms of appearance, this was ideal “, Bresnik praised the attitude of his pupil. “That he didn’t win is a downer, but I don’t get upset about matches like this at all.”

Thiem has to defend a quarter-finals presence in 2017 at the “desert tournament” in California. A year ago, the now owner of 9 titles had only just failed 6:7 in the third set at the Swiss Stan Wawrinka. “I don’t care about points. There are matches that he has lost while playing well, and there are matches that he has won but played poor. Few people can judge this correctly, said Bresnik.

Bresnik has no doubt, that Thiem is currently not playing his optimal tennis. But he has certain qualities being so good that he can still win when some things are not there, added Bresnik. Physically Thiem is “really good”. Bresnik sent sports scientist Michael Reinprecht to California for further training. The slightly longer break between Acapulco and the first match Thiems (Saturday or Sunday because of BYE) should be used. In addition, Indian Wells offers particularly good training opportunities, says Bresnik.

The draw is out. HERE you can see the best his potential way over the tournament.

It’s now all in his hands (or maybe rather his feet?). If he can play well (like against Shapovalov in Acapulco), he can go deep.

BYE>Tsitsipas>Shapovalov>Berdych/Chung>Federer>Dimitrov/Kyrgios/Anderson>Sascha Zverev/Del Potro/Cilic

IMO the most probable:


Good prospects for exciting matches.

I have seen on ATP website QF prediction and Thiem is there playing Federer. No “Angstgegners” under way. Should Anderson overcome Dimitrov/Kyrgios (we don’t know about form of everyone – the last time form does not tell much – it’s changing from tournament to tournament), he would be the first one, bus this would be SEMIFINAL. Good enough to come so deep.

Federer – well, this is of course a big challenge for everyone, but not Angstgegner! Thiem never won against Federer on hard court. But has a paper advantage of leading record (2:1) and maybe Federer’s Angstgegner, if in top form and on healthy feet 🙂 Kyrgios nice to play but Kyrgios is more incosistent than Thiem, so very difficult to predict. Cilic in the final – still within the reach.

We will know more after the first match – not if he wins, but how he can play (the most important, if his feet issue is resolved).

First match (probably Saturday/Sunday) against Tsitsipas prediction: Thiem wins 7:5, 6:4

Updated 7.08.2018, 7:56

BTW – our friend Sandgren has Basilashvili>Ferrer>Delpo>Djokovic>Cilic so maybe let him repeat AO and eliminate Delpo under way, so there are no more Angstgegners for Thiem in the draw – then only Sandgren 😉

Updated 7.03.2018, 8:13

Thiem will play doubles as well (thanks @Anna for telling), together with Philipp Petzschner. Of course no chances to go through first round against Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, so maybe only to get used with the court. But – this will be for sure not one of the main courts, where he will probably play all his singles matches. So a kind of warm-up? I’m skeptical about Dominic’s doubles appearances. Be it only because serving is completely different (another position to serve from) than in singles. Well, still a touch of a competition 🙂

Updated 8.03.2018, 6:49

Today about 22.00 Vienna time there is a match between Radu Albot and Stefanos Tsitsipas. One of them is the first Dominic’s opponent. The match is streamed on TennisTV and as always a free stream on

Updated 8.03.2018, 18:44

Thiem practice in IW with Rublev. Only short video 🙁

Updated 8.03.2018. 20:23

Tsitsipas won first round as expected and is Dominic’s first opponent for tomorrow (not sure, but upper half mostly start first and upper half was playing first round yesterday). Today about 22.00 our time Dominic plays doubles. On court no. 5. This story never ends – he gets the worst time and court to play. Well – that’s only another kind of training and he is not American. But opponents are still ranked high in doubles. This is still some good hint for Dominic – he must simply start to win big titles 🙂

Thiem’s presser in Indian Wells:

And I’m really impressed with his growing confidence in interviews 🙂 And his next level English 🙂 I guess the first founded on the second.

This here (with Hyeon Chung) looks better (I mean footwork) – cannot see too much on such a short video

Updated 9.03.2018, 14:34

Well, it’s still time (not much now) for kidding 🙂

BNP Paribas Open Notebook: Thursday, March 8


Imitation is the greatest form of flattery (or not)

Informed that #NextGen Canadian teen Denis Shapovalov modeled his sweeping one-handed backhand after his, Austrian Dominic Thiem quipped, “It looks pretty different, so he did a bad job copying.”

Let’s see, hopefully in 3-rd round 🙂 First Domi must go through Stef and Denis through Pablo – ALL 4 SINGLE-HANDED-BACKHANDERS !!! Actually a big SHBH-contest and what a pity – after round 3. only one of them will survive 🙁

Updated 9.03.2018, 17:18

Doubles with Petzschner vs. Murray/Soares

Only watched to see, how Dominic moves and if he looks fresh.

Click the image and look for ThiemDoublesIndianWells

IMO Thiem moves well – no signs of feet problems. serving well, looking fresh and fit. This is all we need for tomorrow. I have watched a bit of Tsitsipas vs. Albot – Tsitsipas not in a big form, making lots of errors and pressure from Albot was not close to the one Tsitsipas must expect from Dominic 🙂

Updated 9.03.2018, 23:49

So it’s TODAY, 20.00 Vienna time, first match on Center Court. Thanks, Tommy Haas 🙂 First time since ages Dominic starts on Center Court and the time is perfect. On a cool day Dominic will play at 24°C.

Match prediction (once more): Thiem wins 7:5, 6:4

Dominic Thiem just turning a MEDIA EXPERT 🙂

and happy while playing doubles 🙂

GOOD MOOD 🏋😎🌴😍🖕🌞🎾🏆


SINGLE-HANDED BACKHAND FESTIVAL in only one section of the draw

Very little hype about Dominic choosing between Roger and Rafa 😉


Respect Stef. Good plan B in the second set together with a down of Dominic, turning impatient and not applying necessary changes – looked like there was again no plan B. In the third set Thiem was back at plan A and it worked again. The match was thrilling and exciting, maybe not the highest level, but such are matches in first round between faves and underdogs.

IMO the backup plan for Dominic after Stef changed his plan in the second set should have been to stay a bit back behind the baseline to have time to give his shots good shape and depth and make rallies longer. Stef would probably not be able to go through such longer rallies. Anyway Dominic must take care in next match(es) to have such a plan and to use it.

Well, look yourself, how it went 🙂

Click the image and look in the folder for ThiemTsitsipasIW to watch the whole match record. Wait for the record to be uploaded – should be done by 23.00

Who’s next? For sure an SHBHer, just fighting – Shapovalov or Cuevas. I expect Shapovalov to prevail.

Updated 10.03.2018, 22:25

If you have no time to watch the whole match, watch last set. The best in the match. And Thiem first playing like we expect him to do. Lots of excellent rallies and shots. From both, but from Dominic more. Playing like in the third set, Dominic can go deep. It’s his weakness (but there are many to have it) to lose focus if the first set is going actually without the real opposition. A kind of making the game boring. In such situations often so called “momentum” shifts and it as just like this today. Third set was the game on maximal tours and with full fire.

In the meantime Cuevas going to defeat Shapovalov, 7:6, 4:1 right now. Well, the youngest SHBHers must wait.

Updated 10.03.2018. 23:10


Updated 11.03.2018, 14:31

!!!!! Time change in Indian Wells !!!

Last night there was changed by 1 hour (daylight saving), so we are now “only” 8 hours behind. This means, matches start now not at 20.00 CET but at 19.00 CET.

Good for those who need to watch second matches of the day – still not too late 🙂

Updated 11.03.2018, 14:41

Dominic plays NB 6.00 pm on Stadium 2 (2.00 am tomorrow our time)

Weather forecast good – nie 25°C at the early evening, the air still not very humid, so about the same as in his first match, only some hours later. Stadium 2 is still a big one but not a monster like CC, fitting better Dominic.

BTW – to those thinking Dominic was not too good against Tsitsipas, look who is out so far: Dimitrov, Zverev, Djokovic, Pouille, Schwartzman (two last after winning ATP500 tournaments in Dubai/Rio – so don’t cry Thiem didn’t won Rio, winners of late tournaments are not doing well here), Isner, Fognini (another fresh tournament’s winner from Sao Paulo), Edmund, Dzumhur, Rublev, Khachanov – all of them good or very good hard court players. Even Federer struggling to overcome Delbonis.

Match prediction: Thiem wins 7:5, 6:3

Some remarks about the game style.  The Tsitsipas match was just a perfect display of where Dominic’s hard court game is and how should he play on hard to win, not to learn (what he did in 2017, learning a lot but also losing a lot).

Learning is good, but time goes by, so if Dominic wants to achieve bigger wins this year, not having to wait another 2-3 until he is perfect on every surface, but … he is then 27-28 years old.

I’m observing, how other top clay courters play on hard surfaces with some success. I will limit my remarks to one example – Rafael Nadal.

Nadal is playing still his clay court game with one difference. On hard he starts rallies back behind to have safe returns, still hitting the ball deep and with much spin or lifting the ball so it takes the opponent longer to play it back. This time is used to come closer to the baseline to hit sharper angles and come to the net if the opponent plays a bit short. Then some perfect game at the net is necessary. Nadal has it. Dominic not so bad but not good enough.

Well, Dominic has some advantages compared with Rafa. He can serve lots of aces and winners. So why not to introduce some serve&volley game? Not after every serve, but more often than currently.

To hit from behind the baseline all the rally can be successful but costs a lot of energy. The opponent stays closer and uses the energy of coming balls, saving own energy. The whole energy comes from Thiem. Even with his top fitness he cannot play 5-6 matches in a tournament like this. The prove was just what happened last year on clay. After one big win almost always a bad loss was coming.

In the Tsitsipas match Dominic was starting rallies very close to the baseline. This worked so long Tsitsipas was scared and could not find rhythm. But then in second set Tsitsipas started to hit (with more risk) long balls all the time and come quickly to the net. Dominic was still  close to the baseline, but this is not his comfortable position and if under pressure he makes too much errors. Then the third set was just the game I would like to see Dominic to play on hard courts at least this season. This was just very similar to how Nadal plays on hard.

And another important aspect – who becomes hard court specialist a staying close to baseline is his daily business, will never have much success on clay. Even so versatile player as Djokovic could not win more than 1 RG crown, just like Federer. Instead Nadal was able to win more crowns on hard and on grass.

This is the right way for Dominic, if he wants to start with big wins in hard right now but not destroy his best clay game.

Was not meant to be 🙁 

Let’s hope for quick recovery or maybe skip Miami to start clay season without issues

Click the image and look for ThiemCuevasIW in the folder to watch the full match record

And here the bad moment in slow motion

Some remarks about the match. Quite good and solid first set. Good enough to win the match. Then the bad moment. Slipping away while approaching the net. Situation did look fully under control. Maybe some slippery place on the court. Nobody to blame for that.

But … during the medical timeout (1 set too late) we could see Dominic’s foot bandaged, probably because of blisters. And here is when everything begins. Having painful blisters you unconsciously put your foot on the ground not with forefoot but rather on the edge, twisting the ankle unnaturally and getting the risk to just what happened at the end of first set.

With the aid Dominic asked for first after second set, he maybe could have save the ankle before pain and overstressing and would be maybe able to close the match in second set (even without the aid he needed, there were still chances for a break) and then have 2 days for recovery.

I’m wondering, why his box did not signal him to do this after the first set.

With pains growing Dominic looked for ways to win points quickly, including serve&volleying, getting close to the chance to win the second set. While this was still desperate, some positive should be taken from the way he did play after the injury. I wrote about this before. Closing points quickly by approaching the net after every good serve (but not an ace) and also after good deep return. Not om every serve(return) to not fall into the pattern and make the opponent easy to read his game. But rather surprising him to get cheap points . Good for the confidence and for the score 🙂

Updated 13.03.2018, 10:33

And look this. I think, the evil started even before the match. Thiem’s right foot (we could see when he was taped after second set) was bandaged, no doubt because of blisters. We don’t know about the other foot, maybe the same.

In this video you can see 3 characteristic things. Rather serious and concerned faces of the three men in the box. Not fitting the good start of the serving game. Then Dominic’s grimaces, showing pain (I guess because of blisters) and unusual hoping after the game was finished – not a happy one, but rather to unload pain.

Updated 13.03, 11:21

I have watched carefully many times this scene in slow motion, added Thiem’s talking about the weird feeling of his foot getting compressed at serve and also some ideas coming from our discussion on the forum.

Now I’m inclined to think, this was a bit different story.

Dominic had blisters on the right foot. They were bandaged before the match. Good, still some help. Maybe the bandage was too tight. But even with bandage you are still running on blisters, so getting pains every time you strike the ground with the feet. It’s some automatism in your body, you can easily test yourself home, if you have something like this. With blisters on feet you are walking using feet positions, in which the pain is a bit smaller. So you start to put your feet unnatural way. It’s still not so bad, if you must can adapt the speed of walking to your condition. But in tennis, like in any performance sport, you cannot. So you start to put your feet on the edge, where you have no blisters. The pain coming from blisters is relieved but your feet are in best position to get twisted.

What we can see in the video is, in some moment the right foot is a kind of “escaping” to the right, looking like lost control over the movement. Fits together with Dominic’s feeling of the foot being compressed at serve.

The right foot (for righty) is at serve the one you use in first phase of the serving movement as a base of a spring you load first, while bending the knee to unload the energy and jump just before hitting.

In this moment the foot (with blister and maybe too tight bandage) was a kind of paralysed for a while (everyone may know, how a numb foot or finger or toe feels like) and he was sprinting without a normal feel in the right foot. I thought first to be some slippery place on court, but this is very improbable on hard court and Dominic is used to slide being a daily business on clay). Now I think, it was just loss of feel and control over the right foot and this was the direct reason for what happened. Probably the ankle was overloaded during this unnatural movement and twisted.

What happened after? Nothing. He got some aid first after second set. Too late.

What should have been done? Take MTO, apply cold (gel compress or something) for some minutes and then repeat on every changeover), tape the ankle (lik it was made but too late), rest a while and continue the game.

It would be just applying the fundamental principle in physiotherapy called P.R.I.C.E. (Protect – Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation). Only elevation is not possible without retiring from the match. And every such injury includes fast developing inflammation. The best you can do to stop this inflammation to develop is cold and compression.

This is Dominic should learn himself to know what to ask for if something like this happens. And of course his physio, sitting there in the box, should first know this (hard to imagine he does not) and second – tell Dominic to immediately call for MTO. This did not happen 🙁

This has nothing to do with Indian Wells, but … we had just on the blog some hot debate about Dominic’s relation to other players on tour. And this is some nice “postscriptum” to this debate 🙂

Updated 14.03.2018, 13:00


Hard to comment, but …

Let’s hope, this hard lesson will be learned. To listen to own body instead of wait for a disaster.
I think, it should be a lesson too for the team.
Dominic can go his way but professionals in his team should take responsibility for their work and tell him – you stop this now or I’m leaving.
Remember faces of Stober, Blanco and Reinprecht at the start of the match, I have compiled in the short video? I’m sure they knew, how it looks like and how it could end.
It’s for sure not like this, that Dominic is not hearing what they say.
They are all old experienced men and their responsibility is greater than Dominic’s.
Sad for him for all possible reasons – and of course for us.



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57 Replies to “INDIAN WELLS 2018”

  1. Doubles draw is out, Dominic made it into the main field (was alternate before). He is playing with Philipp Petzschner against Murray/Soares 1st round. I was actually hoping he does not get into the main field… But let’s see. Don’t expect them to win and maybe Dominic wants to get used to the court.

  2. Thanks for the news. Getting used to the court is good. But I’m always skeptic about playing doubles by Dominic in tournaments. I think, this was one of reasons of his problems with early exits or at least problems with winning first singles matches.
    Why? Not because of excessive tiredness, but because in doubles you serve from different places and after a doubles match with such serving the player (if not experienced enough in switching between doubles and singles) can be confused when serving next match on a singles court.
    I hope, they lose quickly to Murray/Soares (too good doubles team to lose to Thiem+someone. Thiem has no feeling for doubles (not understanding the role of the player staying at the net, to intercept coming balls or at least making lots of movement there to make opponents unsure – to stay in place at the net does not make sense in doubles). Well, in Buenos Aires I have seen for the first time, Thiem playing well doubles with Schwartzman. Maybe Thiem wants to win the additional 1.000.000 dollars set for the player who wins both singles and doubles? 😉

  3. @Michelle
    It was too short and we don’t know, what a moment of the training it was. Maybe tired after Ruprecht camp or after longer and intense rally or so.
    If you compare this with videos from Tenerife – we see here an old man 🙁

  4. Yeah – SHBH’ers should play each other so often it goes. The only minus of such pairing is, we lose some of them for the rest of the tournament.
    But I’m more eagerly waiting for the match between one no-more-so-young and not-yet-so-old SHBH’er 🙂

  5. Everybody knows, Nick Kyrgios withdrew yesterday because of elbow injury and was replaced by LL Matteo Berretini? Good news first for Kevin Anderson, then eventually for Dimitrov – both were set to play Kyrgios. Does not affect Thiem (before final ;)). Well Sandgren is somewhere there in the bottom half, maybe another surprise run of him?
    Weather forecast for 11.00-13.00 local time – cloudy at 24-25°C, humidity 40% (quite good for the desert), wind 7-9 km (just nice). visibility 16 km (should be enough ;)).
    Want to know more about influence of atmospheric conditions on the game of tennis, read here

  6. What do you mean with “Monf won”?
    The question is not challenging but stupid. You can ask anyone about anything. You prefer whiter wine while I prefer red wine. So what???

      1. I don’t think Dominic’s answer is bad. It’s the press that makes a bad headline out of it. Dominic was referring to Rafa’s clay game that’s more likely to his own.

        I also think Dominic has personally more in common with Rafa than with Roger. Both are hard workers and more shy in public, Roger is more a public person and feels well doing it (at least it seems).

        I like both a lot, both are great sportsmen and I cannot and would not like to decide which one I would prefer and that’s good.

        1. Yea – this was not a competition between Dominic and Monf. Everyone answered in his style. Dominic’s answer was kind and serious. Monf maybe tried to answer in his style, but was not sure if some funny trick answer would fit the occasion.
          Yes, of course Dominic is closer to Rafa for many real reasons (not simply “liking” or “preferring” – wrong words in the question).
          It’s of course another thing for fans. A (real) FedFan can respect Rafa but never like him. Among FedFans you rather find Rafa’s haters. Don’t know, how it looks like on the other side. Never following Rafa-related social media.
          What media are doing adds to animosity between fans.
          We need to respect them all. Not only the very top. There are a lot of nice and good players, who never was Top10 or Top20. What a nice guy (and SHBHer, which means something for us) is certain Dudi Sela – but who cares about him?

        2. BTW – take it it as very like remark 🙂 It was clearly visible at Rod Laver Cup – who “belongs” to whom. It was just Rafa to come to encourage Dominic during his match against Isner. And it was Zverev to come to encourage Federer (!) during his match against Kyrgios. Dominic would find it respectless to come and clap Roger’s or Rafa’s shoulders. It’s another thing if it’s opposite.

          1. Acc Laver-Cup: As a matter of fact, I watched Roger asking for and being the one looking for Dominic (momentarily disappeared) when the team were to celebrate their win. So who belongs to whom I think might be a little fluid. Of course when Sasha repeatedly states Roger to be his idol, he is more open to Fed’s possible tips and recommendations. I think it a bit strange that a sbh’er prefers Rafa’s style (and a dbh’er prefer Roger’s )- but never mind. I’m sure R and R both work hard to improve and train. As of shyness – well Roger likes people being around , and communicates as respectful as he can. But they go to him, it’s not him going to them a lot. Well, I’m a fan of Roger on court, not so much Rafa (although I respect his huge achievements of course), so players going for Rafa’s style won’t have me as fan of their tennis.

    1. If you click your link further up, and scroll a bit down, you’ll have:
      – However, French star Gael Monfils struggled to pick a favourite.
      “It’s very hard, this one, because I grew up with these two guys,” he said.
      “They are legend for different things. I prefer one for this thing, I prefer the other thing.
      “It’s tough, I can say I prefer Roger because he won everything, he won most Grand Slam titles.
      “And then I prefer Rafa because he won Roland Garros ten times, and it’s my dream to win it once.” –

      1. And Roger himself denies this rather stupid GOAT discussion, – again as late as in Rotterdam a few weeks ago (when he won not only the QF to be no. 1 again, but the tournament as well) the interviewer claimed him to be IT, and Roger rejected the assumption decidedly 2 times!
        In my opinion we have different tastes, and that’s it. Some like Rafa’s fighting spirit, his indomitable strength of comebacks after uncountable injures, – his big muscles, screwing balls, screaming habit, – and not least his amazing, and not surpassed skills on clay – – others prefer RF’s positive fighting spirit, elegance, amazing skills on all surfaces. Both have rather nice behavior off court. On court there’s a small difference in behavior, and it’s about taste which to prefer.

  7. @curious
    Are you aware of time change fror daylight saving in Indian Wells. Now 8 instead of 9 hours ahead, so Fed’s TBF also starting one hour earlier. After 2 first matches on CC, starting 19.00 it could be about 22.00-23.00, so still not very late.

  8. @Anna
    Thanks again. You are adding a lot to the blog, because so far nobody here was observing Domi’s private things so close 🙂
    And both scenes with Rafa are telling a lot 🙂 Very, very nice 🙂
    Rafa is expressive and explosive and warm-hearted (typically Spanish I think, such are Brazilians too) but shy and humble at the same time. They fit each other very well.
    To be that close to Federer you need to have a character of Sascha. It’s OK – everyone finding a kind of his older Big Brother on tour 🙂 Well, Sascha has a real brother on tour, but it’s not the same as to have close relation to a legend of tennis.

  9. @curious
    As a matter of fact (and I know it very well, I think others have noticed it too) you are neither Rafa’s nor Dominic’s fan.
    Of course Im welcome every opinion and would never attack or block someone expressing such opinions (just like FedFans do, if some appears, not fitting their definition – they are closed club – we are not).
    But this here is a thread about Dominic in Indian Wells, so please post about Federer under Federer-related posts.
    Or maybe you want to tell us anything about Dominic playing in Indian Wells? There is a lot of stuff to comment 🙂

  10. @curious
    Yes, I remember that scene from Laver Cup. Roger and also Sascha were calling for Dominic so that he can be on the picture too.

    Well, I don’t prefer anyone of both so I see it very neutral. 🙂

    1. I did not notice the scene, but I believe to recall, Dominic was maybe trying to fly and not participate in the “hype” 😉
      Well, they are friends with Sascha and Roger was the boss of the whole thing, so it’s easy to understand, why they were calling for Dominic. But everyone his way they all were a team and of course friendly to each other and interacting and some interactions were specific for everyone’s character. It was all a friendly affair.
      I recall too, I was a bit disappointed to see Dominic playing only 1 match, but well – this was exhibition and Federer was director. Dominic was maybe disappointed too but for sur did not feel offended and I remember too, when Fed was preparing to play Kyrgios, both Fed and Dominic disappeared for a longer while, so Fed must have asked Thiem to hit with him for preparation and Thiem was happy to hit with Fed instead of only seat on the bank and make less or more noise.

      1. Yes, Dominic was hitting with Fed. There is a video on Peter Moizi‘s Instagram that shows them practicing together.

        Well, back to that scene when Dominic disappeared. That was after they got the trophy and before they went into the tunnel for the celebration and the presser. Dominic and Berdych went to the bathroom. Dominic wore a cap before and took it of for the trophy ceremony and then left it in the locker room. And someone said that they are at he bathroom.

        After Dominic came back and they made the pictures with the trophy, Dominic was the one who carried it into the room to celebrate. He also made a joke in English and everybody of Team Europe was laughing. He is well respected and if the pressure is gone, it might be easier for him to participate in group things and feel well about it. I really loved Laver Cup for this reason. And the members of Team Europe still have a What App group chat. And also had dinner together in Shanghai. Really nice to see they get along so well off-court.

        1. Yes, it’s really nice and the best aspect of Laver Cup, including high level matches, so not an usual exhibition event.
          Thanks for details 🙂
          I think, Dominic is now opening himself to communication public, maybe good vibes from Kiki and Dominic’s better English. Well, when he learns something, he learns it hard 🙂 And results must come 🙂
          Still it his relation with Rafa seems to be special.

          1. He also has to speak English with Galo Blanco, that helps surely too. Certainly, there would be even more improvement if he had to do with native speakers, but like he is doing now is really good.

            Oh, btw, there exists a really nice pic of Kiki and her family at dinner with Dominic, Dennis and Galo in Melbourne.

  11. @curious
    And you misunderstood the thing with styles and who likes what. Here is not so important, who’s shb or dhb, but who’s preferring clay and who’s not.
    Definitely Dominic is closer to Rafa just because of this. And lot of other things. And I heard Roger telling, he admires both Rafa and Dominic for their extreme work ethic, admitting this way he is happy with his immense talents and does not need or want to work more. Which everyone should understand.
    And about playing style it’s about lot more things than playing shb or dhb. Learn more about tennis and you will understand it better. Also the kind of personal expression of Roger and Rafa is very different and obviously in this aspect Dominic is a lot closer to Rafa. But as you may recall, being a bit younger, Domini’s idol was just Federer and it was Federer to have invited Dominic some years ago to have common training in Zurich. And nobody has told here, Roger to not be friendly enough to Dominic and vice versa. Simply not the same wavelength in communication.

  12. @Anna
    Yes, very nice photo 🙂 In the world of tennis English is of course the global language – everyone must be able to speak with umpire, other players, officials, interview a.s.o. Bu I think, the definite motivation for Dominic was Kiki and then Galo Blanco too (for Galo – and Rafa – could learn a bit Spanish – beautiful language and easy to learn 🙂 Maybe French for Kiki? Kiki must have Balkan roots, but born in France, I guess?

    1. Yes, Kiki has Serbian roots. That’s why she speaks Serbian with her mum when she is coaching her. Kiki speaks French, Serbian, English, Italian and Spanish. She is a multitalent. I think she also learns German now. 🙂

      Dominic can lern some French from her and Spanish from Galo. That’s great!

  13. Yes, thank you Anna for sharing that lovely photo with us.

    What a great shame re Dominic & his injury. I would’ve loved to have seen the match with Chung. But aside from my own wishes I hope that Dominic can learn a valuable lesson from this situation. I can only surmise that this injury was the result of compensation for his blisters but if that is the case it needs to be managed. Prevented rather than cured! So many injuries result from compensating for other issues & from the work I now do I see it all the time. There are some issues/injuries that some will always be prone to for various reasons & I think this is the case with Dominic & his feet.
    We know that Dominic is a ‘fighter’ & this is one of his many qualities that draws me to him. I can relate to him on many levels. But there comes a time when you realise you’re fighting a losing battle & I hope for Dominic it comes sooner rather than later!
    Let’s hope he takes the time to heal fully before he takes to the ‘battlefield’ again.

  14. @Michelle
    We can write and discuss till the end of the world. This does not help much. I wrote a large message re blisters and related things via FB message but no answer pf course. For a while, seeing Dominic’s foot bandaged (let’s assume for blisters), I thought, maybe someone read it and he got some help, but it’s not so important.
    Well, I’m observing (you for sure too) quite the same in many other players. I think, it is simply one important lesson missed – for players, coaches and physios. They all should have the knowledge about the problem and it seems to be a very basic thing. Why the hell nobody cares? Should they all play big machos only to lose matches and their health? Everyone telling big story about how topfit Dominic is. Maybe he is. But not his feet. He’s like “colossus on clay feet” (nomen omen – not feet for clay but clay feet). And everything starts from feet in almost every sport. And yes it’s unbelievable, they all including physio could not know about compensation.
    I have observed the scene in slow motion (have you seen it here?). It looked like he lost for a while a control on this foot. A kind of being numb – maybe bandage too tight, maybe the blister and pain causing partly loss of feeling – feeling pain instead of feeling the ground. He reported, he had at serve before the sprint to the net a weird feeling of his foot being somehow “compressed”. Maybe reaction of nerves to too high pain level, thus reducing the feel?
    Then another question. Nothing to do with being fighter IMO. He must have go to the bank during the game. The official physio came but Dominic probably rejected bigger help. Then after the set was over, was the right time to call MTO and do, what was done after another set. If he thought – maybe I will lose but not retire (what he finally did) – where was his team in the box? Why the hell Stober or Reinprecht or Blanco did not shout to him – take MTO right now?
    Well, maybe all those people miss some basic education. Many miss. Not only performance athletes. Many do stupid things in daily life. But the outcome is not so crazy.
    And IW is another tournament of retirements and losses of fresh hospital comeback guys. And only Federer seems to be wise enough to not play with his health. Thus staying fit enough to win everything. If he shows others the way – good. But I fear, others must first be 30+ to learn the lesson. Look how well so many 30+ or even 35+ are doing.

  15. And I’m wondering, of physios know about the fundamental principle of dealing with injuries in sports. It’s called P.R.I.C.E. (Protection – Rest – Ice – Compression – Elevation).
    Not everything van be done without withdrawing from the competition, but some things can. I have learned about it from a physio working in the center for Olympic sports nearby the place, where I live. I was there because of a knee injury (twisted joint in the knee). I needed longer rehab with laserotherapy, magnetotherapy and kriotherapy and a kind of acupuncture called clavitherapy. We have had long and nice and very useful talks. To be short – in case like this from Dominic only last step – elevation – could not be made. But first-aif protection, some rest (MTO can be up to 10 minutes long), ICE (doing wonders in inflammatory states) and light compression (taping or the like – also doing wonders). Living him in the refrigerator for drinks cool gel compresses for short applications on every changeover – no need to take off shoes. And there is another wonderful treatment, also doing miracles and very very quick, but must be applied directly after the injury. I’m using it for small daily injuries but also for bigger ones (like after heavy fall from the bike) – it’s homeopathic Arnica montana (small pellets to take under the tongue) and Arnica montana in form of a tincture. Can be applied in acute cases so often it’s possible. Imagine you hit your finger with a hammer and the pain is crazy and you can see how the tissue is swelling and the bruise coming. You apply Arnica (in both forms) and (if you can) cold compress and you are relieved in minutes and after 1 hour you can forget the case. This is my whole first aid home and on court or bike or when jogging in the forest.

  16. And for long-term of course LEARN RIGHT FOOTWORK (call it FEDERER’S or TARAHUMARA footwork). Federer is extreme in tennis in this aspect but I can see some players doing similar – maybe their natural way of running, maybe learned. This would be the best prevention of blisters and every other problem with feet. Consequently with ankles, knees, different tendons, muscles a.s.o. This I would call FITNESS rather than what coaches and physios do. The last; of course necessary in performance sport are “only” performance parameters of muscles, tendons a.s.o.

  17. But Alex Stober is one of the best physiotherapists on tour, doesn’t he know what he is doing? I saw Dominic looking at his box multiple times during the match and when he was on the bench. He did communicate with him and them.

    But like the whole process ended, it’s still Dominic and how you would expect him to handle it. Dominic is used to play down injuries and taking the hard road. It’s his personality. I know it’s not wise, but he he never takes MTO if it’s not fully necessary. Do you remember Vienna in fall against Gasquet? Dominic’s shoelace tore and instead of changing it immediately, he played and lost the last point to Gasquet and changed the lance on the bench afterwards. That’s him and that’s something he is not going to change. That’s his personality. Not wise of course and not the best for an athlete when you want to be the best, a killer of the sports.

    About this injury: maybe it was just bad luck he slipped badly running to the net. He is well trained to avoid injuries but of course it can happen. I‘ve read that interview too and he said he said that it was weird because he cannot recall what exactly happened, but it felt like his foot was compressed. But not before running to the net, he meant the moment it happened.

    Dominic visited a foot specialist after Vienna tournament and I guess he is well advised now. He has one of the best teams. The problem is Dominic himself down playing things and not telling things. I really hope he is wise this time and takes his time to heal. But he already said he thinks he is going to be ready for Miami. :/ He has a whole week and a few days to heal… if that is enough?

    Somewhere else someone also meant that maybe Dominic fitness block was too much during and before the tournament. Because the nosebleed happened too, that it was too much for his body. I guess he is used to hard work and the nosebleed was because of the dry air in the desert. But of course it can be a reaction of the body. That it calls for rest.

    The good thing is that Dominic now has to rest. And his blisters have time to heal now too.

  18. @Anna
    Yes, I know about Stober. Maybe the best or second after Paganini. So you are right – rather improbably, he does not know, what to do but it’s Dominic’s insistence – this is his way, everyone must accept, It’s his body, his life, his luck. I guess he will play Miami, no matter the chances for a good result. He must play so long it goes.
    Maybe not the best way to reach best results, but maybe the way to reach the most happiness.
    I thought, the weird feel started on serving, but Dominic’s statement is not exact enough and very probable that he cannot recall exactly when and what happened.
    Could have been just lik I “speculated” or some other way, even Dominic is not sure about.
    I don’t belong to those, who think only about his big titles. It looks like playing itself is more important for him then winning titles. Of course he plays always to win, sometimes going too far like this time. I like his personality. Some big titles would be nice and of course some highlights of his life and making him more happy. But still – to be on court and to play, whatever the outcome, is the most important. It’s what we know from Bresnik’s book and this will probably never change.
    The main thing is of course, he makes with his life what he likes and we can only wish him to be happy to go this way. Maybe he is (not necessarily consciously) a “Buddhist” and “the way is the goal” for him? I’m principally this kind of people. What’s just now is more important than anything in the past and in the future. The past you cannot change. The future you cannot know. But you can still go the way of perfecting yourself and simply being happy with what you can do just today 🙂

    1. Yes, the way Dominic behaves and plays, his whole personality, that’s the reason I am a fan of him and why I adore watching him play. 🙂

      Great pic of him and Roger at Laver Cup. Although Dominic and Rafa have something special, he also gets along very well with Roger and Roger speaks great things of him.

      I‘ve read an interview once where Dominic told that he gets along very well with Rafa, Roger and Andy Murray. That Murray is very nice off court, but of course he would never behave like him on court. And that he says hello to Novak and Stan, but there is not so much interaction with these two. That interview was last year, if I recall right.

      1. Some how I like Andy’s behavior on court. It’s very individual, a mix of anger and laughing about himself. Must be nice guy off court 🙂

  19. BTW” – just switched the clock on the blog to Miami time 😉
    And about fitness block – I don’t think, Reinprecht would do risky things just before the tournament. Of course when doing fitness with great intensity the risk of getting injured is maybe even higher than in matches. But it’s stil under control not like in competition.

  20. Seems like this little fracture was there before and with this bad slip on court and compression of the foot it became a microcrack… oh my… Why didn’t Stober see this coming. 🙁 Too much training and matches can be the reason. Dominic always plays the tough one… Hope he can learn from it. I’m so sad now.

    And surely I want to see him back on court soon, and he has so much to defend and was looking forward to clay season. But he better rest well, not start too early. He saw what happened to players who started too early. All the best and good recovery!

    1. @Anna,
      I think, Stober have seen this coming. And others in the team too.
      What’s shocking for me, there was nobody to tell it loud enough. This all started with blisters and this is soooo long story 🙁

    1. Yeah – MRI is not a verdict. He will have a better check-up in Vienna. Let’s hope, it’s better than the first news 🙂

      1. Yes, there’s still hope! And in the meantime he has time to heal, get energy back and to reflect on things. Enjoy time with family, making the best out of it. Not thinking about points.

        Maybe he can get to talk to Marcel Hirscher. He is quite impressive and had an ankle injury too (of course it’s another sport) and made an impressive comeback. Also a great mind and personality. And Hirscher often gives credit to Dominic.

        1. Right. But at the first sight it’s always a bit dramatic. We forget, in our normal lives similar things happen and we are recovering, coming back (sometimes stronger), continuing to live.
          I think, it’s one of good Dominic’s abilities, that he can just take positives.
          I have seen on FB a reaction from someone, telling to have had similar injury and about magnetic field therapy . Is this a known athlete?
          I’m not much interested for winter sports, but of course I know, who is Hirscher. And I’m sure, Dominic gets support from other Austrian athletes 🙂

  21. Stress fractures are usually easily detected through MRI although I’m sure he will have a CAT scan to determine this as it may be ‘just’ a severe bone contusion. I suffered two metatarsal stress fractures during my career, the second one resulting from not taking enough time to fully heal the first one.
    I have heard about magnetic field therapy but I admit I do not know much about it but unfortunately the fact remains that if it is a stress fracture the rehabilitation will be slow in terms of a ‘tennis season’. On a positive level this may be the perfect opportunity to alter his foot strike as this too takes time especially to avoid other injuries. This would also reduce the stress on that part of his ankle that has been taking so much until now.
    I may be wrong but it is highly unlikely that Dominic will now completely change his style of play & stress fractures in healthy people are caused by chronic repetitive stress & overuse. It may even have been caused regardless of the blisters although that can not be ruled out.
    I can only speak for myself but I do know in regard to my own career you learn from a young age how to block out/ignore pain & you become very good at it. And as you say Wladyslaw, this is why the team is so important. They need to be able to read early warning signs & intervene immediately to prevent this type of injury occurring.
    Let’s hope that whatever the situation, lessons will be learned so that these types of injuries can be avoided as much as possible in the future.
    This is very sad but I have a good feeling that something very positive will result from this. 😉

  22. I’ve read a very good comment in derStandard Tennis Forum+. For me as someone who has no clue about medical stuff, it’s useful information.

    Ein “Knochenmarködem” ist keine Krankheit und kein Ödem im herkömmlichen Sinn. Es ist ein radiologischer Fachausdruck für eine Besonderheit im MRI: im Knochenmark besteht ein Areal mit einer Dichte sehr nahe der Dichte des Wassers. Es ist ein einheitliches Reaktionsmuster auf viele mögliche Schädigungsarten. Dabei handelt es sich wohl um Knochenreparaturprozesse, die immer auch eine entzündliche Komponente beinhalten. Insofern hat Bresnik das gut wiedergegeben. Entzündungsmediatoren schalten Faser-abbauende Enzyme (sog. Matrix-Metalloproteasen) ein, die Knochen und Bänder temporär schwächen, damit anschließend neu aufgebaut werden kann. Wir alle erleiden dauernd Mikrorisse in Knochen und Bändern, die anschließend repariert werden.

    Zu viele Mikrorisse in kurzer Zeit können zu einem größeren “Ermüdungsbruch” zusammenfließen.

    Situation: Domi stürmt ans Netz und bremst abrupt ab, um Cuevas’ Stop zu erreichen und einen weichen Gegenstop zu setzen. Man kann die Gewalteinwirkung mit einem Sprung aus 1-2 m Höhe vergleichen, doch kommt eine starke Scherkomponente noch hinzu. Dieser Tweet gibt den Moment gut wieder:

    Domi rutscht und korrigiert im Reflex, aber der Hardcourt erzeugt hier viel mehr Reibung, und damit Belastung, als es Sand getan hätte.

    Es gibt zwei Möglichkeiten:
    1. Durch die enorme Dauerbelastung in Training und Wettkampf war die Sprunggelenksregion bereits durch mehr Mikrorisse als üblich in diesem Reparaturprozess und hat in diesem Moment maximaler Belastung nachgegeben.
    2. Das Sprunggelenk war pumperlgsund, doch war die Belastung einfach zu groß. Der Talus bewegt sich mehr als “erlaubt”, was zu Faserrissen im Knochenansatz der Bänder und den Bändern selbst führt. Der Reparaturprozess ist sekundär und war im MRI in Wien ausgeprägter sichtbar als in Kalifornien zwei Tage vorher.

    Egal, ob 1 oder 2 zutrifft, Knochen- und Bänderreparatur braucht Zeit. Ich wäre überrascht (aber sehr erfreut), wenn sich das bis zum Beginn der Sandplatzsaison ausgeht. Better safe than sorry!

    1. My interpretation of the situation is different, but it’s hard to interpret, because we don’t see at the same time the whole situation. Sliding away of the right foot is of course there, but we cannot tell, why this sliding occurred.
      There are many possibilities about how it happened. Mostly everybody concentrate on the “last” moment. But I have seen (and shown in a compiled video) at the beginning of Tsitsipas match Dominic grimacing (looked like reaction to pain) and boys in the box were all concerned before something happened. So I do assume, they knew, Dominic runs on ice 🙁

      1. Yes, yours is like option 1 in that comment. That there was more to it before.

        The information that was new to me was to the fact of what this edema really is and how this is all connected to the fluid and the shifted talus. Like I said, I don’t know about medical stuff. Just wanted to share.

  23. Here is a free translation of German text from Anna’s comment into English
    Bone marrow edema is not a disease or edema in the conventional sense. It is a radiological term for a special feature in MRI: in the bone marrow there is an area with a density very close to the density of the water. It is a uniform reaction pattern to many possible types of damage. These are probably bone repair processes that always contain an inflammatory component. In this respect, Bresnik gave a good account of this. Inflammation mediators switch on fiber-degrading enzymes (so-called matrix metalloproteases), which temporarily weaken bones and ligaments so that they can then be rebuilt. We all suffer from microcracks in bones and ligaments that are repaired afterwards.

    Too many microcracks in a short time can merge into a larger “fatigue fracture”.

    Situation: Domi storms to the net and brakes abruptly to reach Cuevas’ stop and make a soft counter-stop. One can compare the impact of violence with a jump from a height of 1-2 m, but there is also a strong shear component. This tweet is a good reflection of the moment:

    Domi slips and corrects in the reflex, but the hardcourt generates much more friction and thus stress than sand would have done.

    There are two possibilities:
    1) Due to the enormous permanent stress in training and competition, the ankle region was already affected by more microcracks than usual in this repair process and gave way to maximum stress at this moment.
    2. the ankle was pumperlgsund, but the strain was simply too great. The talus moves more than”allowed”, leading to fiber tears in the bone base of the ligaments and the ligaments themselves. The repair process is secondary and was more visible in the MRI in Vienna than in California two days before.

    No matter whether 1 or 2 applies, bone and ligament repair takes time. I’d be surprised (but delighted) if it ends by the beginning of the clay court season. Better safe than sorry!

  24. Thanks for the translation! Very interesting and plausible. Four weeks to heal and recover sound overly optimistic! But basically sounds like Domi needs rest! But I won’t be surprised if he shows up at Monte Carlo at less than 100% to play…

  25. I think, he will now hear and follow Bresnik’s recommendations/decisions. To start a week to early only to lose in first round and at the same time to risk prolongation of recovery, would be absurd. If this was recreational tennis like in my case, he could maybe start tomorrow, wearing orthotics and hitting at 20% power to have fun almost without movement. But he’s a professional player and everything around his fun when playing must be professional. I’m sure, Dominic will be now under strict control of Bresnik until he gets from him green light 🙂

  26. Firstly, thanks Wladyslaw for the translation of the article Anna posted. We wouldn’t be able to read any of these reports if it wasn’t for you. Thank you also for the video clips of Dominic vs Rafa at Rome last year, brought a big smile to my face! 😊
    I cannot even hope at this point in time that we will see the same this year., I do so hope that I’m wrong!
    But negativity aside, the most encouraging factor for me would be that yes as you say Dominic will listen to Bresnik from now on & stop telling his team that he is ‘fine’ when clearly he’s not. I’m sure you remember Dominic posting on FB that he would play Davis Cup in February even though Bresnik was not sure about his decision.
    I can totally understand why Dominic makes the decisions he does, that is partly why we respect & admire him so much. But as you say Wladyslaw, there comes a time when he must start to think of himself & what will make him truly happy.
    I can’t help thinking about the fact that if the injury hadn’t happened he would now be with Kiki which he is not & now at home he can’t even take his beloved Hugo out for a walk!
    Sad times! But maybe this will encourage a rethink!

  27. And I also meant to say thank you to Anna for sharing the original article with us. Please do let us know of anything else you read/hear in relation to Dominic’s injury & recovery?

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