Four or five questions, then in the answers praise the circumstances and the hospitality of the organizer, mention of goals which do not seem very explicit – this is usually the press conferences with the tennis professionals before the start of the tournament. Athletes approach competition practically slowly. Dominic Timm also practiced the gentle method at first on Monday morning in Doha, when he said, for example, he trained well. Creeping, however, without the intention of the 27-year-old Austrian, he began to open up. You don’t have to talk about the confessions right away, but they were unexpected statements from one of the Grand Slam winners and fourth place in the world in such a hypothetical situation.
Tim first spoke about his failed trip to Australia at the start of the year, but it was more and more about the basics: his newfound relationship with defeats. Dominic Team, 27, from Wiener Neustadt, now Dominic Tim is different from what he was a year ago, and that of course goes back to his victory at the US Open last fall, when he was the first young generation representative to dominate a Grand Slam. Lead the big three – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. But as Tim points out, two other tournaments have shaped him at least equally: the 2020 Australian Open and 2021, which took place in February.
In any case, his transformation began long before the US Open. He said: “Since Australia 2020, where I was in the final, I have noticed that if I really do my best, I have a good chance of winning a Grand Slam tournament,” and said, “This is how I participate in the Grand Slam tournaments.” Logical result: “This is a completely different pressure.” Well pressed. A topic that can motivate and paralyze competitive athletes in many ways. The essence of those who reach the top: victories suddenly become a duty, disappointment is defeated. In January 2020, Tim felt ready to achieve great victories, then came to New York, albeit in the final against German Alexander Zverev with a lot of fighting and luck. A year later, he discovered how much his demands had changed. It can pull you down.
“Three or four years ago I would have probably gone home feeling like the king.”
Tim revealed in Doha, “I made it really high. That makes it difficult. I left Australia feeling bad and sad that I lost in the fourth round.” Three or four years earlier, he summed up that he “probably came home after losing in the fourth round and would have felt like a king and would have been going to the next few weeks very excited.” He would have noticed the first internal contractions before the Australian Open. In the ATP Cup, a national competition, he did not make a good impression; The hotel’s two-week quarantine has also weighed heavily on him. In the Grand Slam, after he managed to save Australian Nick Kyrgios in five sets in the third round, he was eliminated in three sets against Grigor Dimitrov, who was distinguished by physical complaints. Tim admitted, “Before Australia, the whole thing was growing a little bit over my head. I gotta get used to it, it’s a learning process.” After all, the financial spat with his former coach Gunter Presnick was resolved. The two reached an agreement after a conversation.
Two interesting cases can be studied this week at the tournament in Doha: Federer, 39, who underwent two operations on his right knee last year, dares to return after 13 months without a competition. The Swiss want to know if his body is resilient. On the other hand, Tim wants to take care of his mental state. The fact that he still describes the end of the Australian Open as a “crushing defeat” shows how sway his ambition is. This cute Austrian from Wiener Neustadt is definitely an example – even if you think you are ready to succeed – you have to come to terms with everything again.
It seemed honest when Tim said that other professionals, who have always been successful and in the limelight in their youth, find their way more easily. Zverev, for example, rarely has self-esteem issues. Tim said, “It evolved into the role a little slower. That’s why it might take a little longer to handle the whole thing well.” His decision is clear: “I will try to cope better with the pressure I usually put on myself.”