Dominic Thiem is glad he would be able to practice on training courts again after getting permission from the Austrian government but admitted it wouldn’t provide him with any advantage.
The Austrian government made changes to its lockdown policy following the outbreak of the coronavirus, which includes allowing certain sports to resume if those playing could maintain a distance of 2 meters from anyone else.
Thiem, as a result, would be able to get on to courts and practice.
And with ATP and WTA tennis already cancelled till at least the middle of July, that would give Thiem an extra three or four months of training over those who wouldn’t be able to do the same because of stricter lockdown rules. However, the Austrian doesn’t think that will be of extra help to him.
Speaking to Sky Sport last week, Thiem admitted the decision to allow him to practice was “incredible news”. He added:
“I can’t wait to get back on the pitch. Until then I will keep fit as before.”
However, he did say not too any sportspeople will be looking to do full training for three or four months. Instead, he revealed, most players need just one month’s training to get into shape having played the amount of tennis they all have in their careers – indicating it was all about getting the muscle memory working again.
Thiem was less optimistic about tennis resuming during the USA swing. Currently, both tours have been cancelled till the end of Wimbledon while the WTA Rogers Cup which was to be played in Montreal in August, has also been pushed to 2021.
The Austrian believes it would take even longer for tennis to get back on its feet.
“I will be happy if the Tour starts again at all. I don’t care on what surface it will be. The swing in America is very unrealistic. I miss tennis, I’m happy that I can work out again, [but] I won’t start a full training session until there is a realistic schedule.”
Thiem added he would begin his training on clay before moving on to other courts.
With all outdoor tennis begin stopped, the sport has found itself a new way to remain connected with its fans thanks to the Madrid Open organisers. The Madrid Open was to be played in the first week of May and was obviously cancelled.
Instead, they have now replaced it with the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro which will see 16 men’s and women’s players discard their racquets and use gaming consoles to compete in a tennis tournament online. This will last four days in the last week of April and all information about it can be found here.