ABU DHABI, December 28, 2018
Dominic Thiem‘s Abu Dhabi campaign has come to end with a second defeat in the last two days. After falling to Karen Khachanov on Thursday, the World No. 8 lost to Hyeon Chung 6-2, 6-3 in the 5th place match of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) on Friday afternoon.
Apart from the results, Thiem was pleased with his stay in Abu Dhabi. “The matches here were useful. It was important to get some matches after a long pre-season. I played against two very good players, so I am not disappointed at all. There was still time to try something out and to get the match feeling back,” Thiem said.
After making his debut at the MWTC last year, the 25-year-old returned to the desert for a second appearance. “The surface here is very quick. I didn’t expect it to be that quick. It was not easy to adjust to the conditions but in general my results on the hard court are improving.”
Thiem, who is still in serach for a second coach, stayed in Abu Dhabi with his younger brother Moritz. “I am trying to find someone before the South-American swing will get underway. It’s easy for me to travel without a coach. I had three good practice weeks with Günter (Bresnik) and I feel well prepared. I won in St. Petersburg without a coach, when I was staying there only with a friend of mine. So I am used to it. For the long trips, however, it would be great to have an additional coach.”
Next up for Thiem will be Doha. The Austrian will fly out to Qatar on Saturday. “I will arrive arround midday, having probably a Tuesday start into the tournament, so there will be still enough time to get used to the conditions over there,” Thiem is looking forward to his appearance at the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open, where he reached the semi-finals last year.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve, however, will be different in the Middle East. “We won’t have any fireworks,” Thiem laughed. What are his wishes for 2019? “To stay healthy is the most important thing. I had a wonderful time of tennis over the past three years and I hope that it will continue like that.”