THIEM vs. TSITSIPAS

This is Dominic’s opponent for tomorrow

Updated 26.04.2018, 14:32


Dominic leads Tsitsipas by 2:0 so far, but they never played on clay.

The match starts at 12.30 on Pista Rafael Nadal.  Weather forecast: 20°C, partly sunny, no rain 🙂

Updated 26.04.2018, 18:34


Some of you may be worried about Dominic’s not optimal performance in both first matches.

But if you observe Dominic for a long time, you will know, it’s just his character. Because of missing “killer instinct” Dominic cannot unfold all his strength again weaker opponents. A kind of “being sorry” for the underdog or a hurt opponent (famous Delpo match at US Open 2017). After he is challenged and on the brink of losing the match, he does not perceives the opponent as underdog anymore. That’s when he can unfold all his powers.

Well – may look risky and is in fact sometimes. But that’s his character. Don’t we like him for just being emphatic, friendly and humble? Maybe some don’t and would rather like to see him as a serial killer. But he isn’t and will never be.

What he can the best is to fight against own weakness. By learning all the time. By working hard in training. And than in every shot and every rally. This is wearing down the emotional energy. Explaining such things like losing badly to Djokovic after having beaten Rafa (Rome 2017) or losing easily to Rafa after beating Djokovic (Paris 2017).

We cannot choose one from many Dominics. We have only one 🙂

Good luck tomorrow 🙂

Updated 26.04.2018, 22:23


Update about the opponent

Tsitsipas is of course a developing player, but don’t misinterpret (like ATP does, as always for hype) his last results.

I have watched a bit his matches in Barcelona against Schwartzman and Vinolas. Yes, both are established names on clay. But both Diego and Albert are since longer time in a deep form low. Last tournament Diego played well was Rio de Janeiro. Last tournament Albert played well was last year. So Tsitsipas was not challenged in both matches. What he can was simply enough.

Tsotsipas’ this year’s achievements are

Doha – lost in QF to Thiem (defeating first Florian Mayer and Richard Gasquet)

ASB Classic – lost in first round to Lukas Lacko

Auistralian Open – lost in first round to Denis Shapovalov

Quimper Challenger – lost to Quentin Halys in SF

Open Sud de France – – lost in first round to Jeremy Chardy

ABN Amro (Rotterdam) – lost in first round qualifying to Martin Klizan

Open 13 Provence – lost in first round to Nicholas Mahut

Open Region Guadeloupe (Challenger) – lost in second round to Christian Garin

Monte Carlo – lost in second round to David Goffin

He is this year 6 to 9 matches (6 won, 9 lost) overall and 1 to 1 on clay (now 4:1 including matches in Barcelona).

Of course may be all of a sudden a big form has come ??? We’ll see in some hours 🙂

Updated 27.04.2018, 09:29


Just read an article about Rafa dominating opponents’s serve on ATP website, written by Craig O’Shannessy and my conclusion for Rafa’s opponents (hopefully Dominic in Barcelona or later). Don’t serve wide out against Rafa and don’t serve with kick. This all gives Rafa time to return the way, he overtakes the command in the following rally.

Serve flat (faster, so less time for the returner) to the T (the shortest way for the ball to reach the returner). Both factors take pieces of time, Rafa needs, staying far behind the baseline to exercise full swing and make the return long, so he can immediately start to be the attacking part´.

If Rafa comes closer to the baseline, then hit flat to the body, sometimes wide out but it must be really wide.

Updated 27.04.2018, 12:26


Click the image to watch the full match record.

No good news, but not only about the loss.

I have watched parts of the match once more from the recording and I fear, Dominic’s issue with the ankle may be back. I would like this not to be true, but simply bad day in the office.

Nevertheless my observations tell me other things.

Why was serving performance so bad? Not only in this, but also in first 2 matches in Barcelona and actually starting in the match against Rafa in Monte Carlo. Maybe something happened in the match against Djoker? Must not have been some acute incident. If the ankle is not yet fully recovered, at some time things start to go worse and if you think, it’s maybe nothing serious and continue the load, it’s going worse until it does not go anymore.

My impression is, this started in the Djoker match but was not (yet) an obstacle for good game and win.

Again Rafa it was probably a try to play the match with some self-protection, then some days for recovery and in matches against Munar and Kovalik the serve was poor, but opponents not good enough to win.

Try to watch some serves in today’s match (there is a slow-motion option on Dropbox) – the movements sequence at the serve is not normal. Apparently trying to protect and not overload the right foot.

If you play tennis yourself, you will know, if you have something with right foot, you can still play well forehand (the left foot is under main load) and partly change your movement for the backhand, but you cannot do this for the serve. Right foot is under load at the beginning (it’s the spring which must be loaded before tossing the ball and most of the power of the serve comes just from the right leg. Then after the jump when hitting you must land first on the left foot but then on the right to catch balance. If you cannot because of some issue with right leg, you cannot hit the serve with the usual strength.

And here a short clip from today’s match, showing IMO a grimace of pain. Dominic is hard (did play against Cuevas in IW with ankle crack one whole set before asking for medical aid) and if he shows grimaces of pain, it’s something serious. I hope, I’m wrong – one match lost is not so bad as a recurring injury.

Well, maybe not the ankle but bad day in the office. Not the end of the world. Another opportunity to learn or simply overcome the weakness of the day, whatever it was 🙂 This is how Dominic sees today’s match on Instagram. Next Madrid. Right. And then Rome and Paris And then a couple of other tournaments. Maybe 2018 not the “clay year”?

Updated 27.04.2018, 21:19

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6 Replies to “THIEM vs. TSITSIPAS”

  1. Hi Wladyslaw,
    This is my opinion:
    I haven’t had the opportunity to watch much in the last two days but what I did see were the last couple of points in Dominic’s match vs Kovalik.
    I had a very uneasy feeling immediately.
    He didn’t look like a player who’d just won a match even if it wasn’t a good win. I had to double check the score to make sure he had actually won!!
    I then tried to see how he was walking but couldn’t see anything obvious. Although I noticed that the moment he sat down he undid his shoelaces & he was clearly not looking happy.
    I honestly expected to see that today’s match would be cancelled & was very surprised to see that it wasn’t.
    I probably shouldn’t be where Dominic & his mental strength is concerned but I think your initial gut feeling is right. Something on the physical level is not good. I really don’t think it was just a bad day at the office.
    Like you, I hope I’m wrong but I suspect Dominic is not giving us the full story as yet. That is fine but I just hope he’s being honest with himself & will not risk any further damage.
    Only time will tell!
    I hope to have the opportunity to watch the full match against Tsitsipas soon purely to see if there’s anything obvious in regard to the quality of his movement.

  2. Hi Michelle,
    I’m a bit confused, so I did watch the first set again very carefully, only watching the movement, not the game. I could not find any clear moment of bad movement and instant pain. It looked rather like his movement was somehow limited all the time. Also I have seen on his Instagram the image showing his new Adidas shoes.
    In the Tsitsipas match (bat maybe earlier too?) he was occasionally manipulating with shoelaces (as you noticed) and socks, but on both feet.
    Maybe these shoes and BLISTERS again is the source of issues now.
    I also observed his face. Not a moment of happiness, smiling or another positive faces. Instead from time to time grimaces, showing rather pain than anything.
    If Dominic gets angry about missed shots or so, his expression is different. He was focused, but NOT ON THE GAME. Could be anything, he would never tell the world, including parents and team (say some problem on the line with Kiki?). Don’t want to go too far into gossips or something. I stay with some physical problem – most probably blisters. All this looked so differently in first 2 matches in Monte Carlo: Rublev and Djoker. He was happy playing, matches were very close and deservedly won. Since then I couldn’t see Dominic happy on court, even in the 2 matches won in Barcelona. Tell me your impressions after you have watched his movement and general expression.

  3. Hi Wladyslaw,
    I’ve just watched the second set of the match vs Tsitsipas, painful as it was.
    I did not get the impression that his feet/ankle were a problem for him although we now know he played with blisters for a very long time & those of us keenly watching his matches had no reason to suspect that something like this contributed to all those losses in the latter part of last year. Dominic had reported at the beginning of this week that he was completely pain free although things can take a turn for the worse very quickly so soon after recovery.
    Back to the second set of the match, I think it’s obvious that by the fourth game Dominic had all but given up & the most disturbing thing was that he did not seem to care. As you pointed out, when Dominic is playing badly & making lots of errors he often displays his frustration. No sign of this whatsoever. To me it seemed Dominic’s head was definitely somewhere else & not on the court with the rest of his body.
    I also thought his Instagram post was odd. After a loss he usually writes how disappointed he is & this time, no emotion, just a ‘c’est la vie’ attitude.
    Interesting that Nadal expressed that he thought something was wrong with Dominic during their match at MC. Someone had also tweeted that Dominic was not in a good mood prior to his match vs Tsitsipas yesterday.
    Like you, very puzzled!
    Just hope that whatever it is he gets over it soon.

  4. Hi Michelle,
    I agree completely with you. Dominic is spiritually far from the court since longer time and while I don’t like gossips – I have read some comments to his last Instagram post. Many suggestions of him having some undefined problems, maybe with Kiki.
    Knowing his character I can imagine both very positive and very negative things for him. Either somethings went wrong in this relation or the opposite – everything is excellent and he is so deep in love, than here is the place, where he is with his soul and heart, not on court. This may go confirmed this or other way next week, because both will play Madrid/Rome and Paris.

  5. As far as I’m concerned, I never really have been convinced that Kiki is the right woman for Dominic. No gossip needed for this.
    My conviction is based on three factors.
    The cultural gap and language gap : Kiki, although from Serbian parents, is raised in France and attached to France, which has got different cultural habits from those in Austria, and different language. Only deep love can overcome that hurdle.
    Kiki is pursuing her own tennis career with lots of intensity, which prevents her form being with Dominic a lot. This is not good for any relationship, unless love is very strong from both sides.
    If Kiki and Dominic both want their relationship to be something more lasting than a temporary commitment, they will – at some point – have to make serious ‘ compromises to each other. Not sure that they are ready to make them.

  6. Agree, Wilfried. These are only facts. I can imagine Dominic just working more on learning French than training tennis. For sure Kiki not learning German on the other side.
    But the obstacle actually impossible to overcome is very limited time to be together. Not enough for something more than “one-night stand”, but Dominic is for sure not prepared for something like this. Maybe Bresnik will be able to help him to understand, how it really looks like?
    All this very similar to Dimitrov’s romance with Sharapova, bringing him from Top10 to a deep fall. Hopefully will Dominic unload his frustration another wy – maybe by double-bagelling all the world 😉

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