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Thiem suffers shock Davis Cup loss to World No. 163 - 'It's been more difficult here than I thought it would be'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 15 Sep 2019
  • Thiem far away from full fitness after losing in straight sets to No. 163 Ruusuvuori
  • Austrian has been struggling with illness for the last month
Dominic Thiem (PA Images)

Dominic Thiem has declared himself ‘healthy’ but admitted he’s still struggling with the aftermath of a mystery viral illness following a shock defeat to Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in Davis Cup on Saturday.

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Thiem played arguably his worst match of the season, losing 3-6 2-6 to Ruusuvuori, who’s currently ranked No. 163 in the world. The loss almost proved costly for Austria, but Dennis Novak - who was also dealing with illness - managed to edge World No. 716 Harri Heliovaara 4-6 6-3 7-6(5) in the fifth and deciding rubber to seal the Group 1 tie.

After starting the season with a viral illness, Thiem has once again been struggling with his health over the last month or so.

Dominic Thiem (PA Images)
The French Open runner-up won the Kitzbuhel title on Austrian soil at the start of August, but he only won two matches during the North American summer, losing 3-6 1-6 to Daniil Medvedev in the Canada Masters quarter-finals, withdrawing from Cincinnati and losing in the opening round of the U.S. Open to World No. 87 Thomas Fabbiano.

Speaking after his surprise defeat to Ruusuvuori, the 26-year-old Thiem conceded he was still far away from full fitness.

"I'm healthy, but I'm not physically up to it. I am certainly not as fit as I was earlier in the year. I'm missing some levels,” Thiem said, according to Sky Sports in Austria.
“I expected to do better,” he continued. “It’s been more difficult here than I thought it would be. It’s understandable. For a long time I felt not good at all.
“I need some time to get back my match rhythm. He’s a good player, better than his ranking. It’s tough to come back from these long periods without matches against guys like this. I’m not that far along yet and that explains the loss.” 

Despite his struggles, Thiem said he still plans to play the Laver Cup in Geneva next weekend - but he did concede that he ‘won’t win very much’ if he plays like he did on Saturday.

The Austrian has traditionally struggled at this stage of the season throughout his career, often due to playing a gruelling schedule earlier in the season, especially on clay.

Thiem’s results post-US Open did improve last season though, with the World No. 5 winning the St. Petersburg title and making the Paris Masters semi-finals, while he also defeated Kei Nishikori in the Nitto ATP Finals group stage.

Thiem isn’t scheduled to play any ATP tournaments until the China Open in Beijing, which starts on September 30, which will be followed by the Shanghai Masters on October 7.


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Thiem suffers shock Davis Cup loss to World No. 163 - "It's been more difficult here than I thought it would be"

Dominic Thiem has declared himself ‘healthy’ but admitted he’s still struggling with the aftermath of a mystery viral illness following a shock defeat to Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in Davis Cup on Saturday.

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