Participation in the second week of
the US Open helped make 2014 a âmegaâ year for Dominique thiem, as he is apt to tell you in his own words.
Unlike typical players, Thiem, a 20-year-old from southern Vienna, has been an assiduous columnist of his season on his Facebook page, writing his own recaps and thoughts after most games.
“You can still think about the game afterwards, and all the memories come back,” he said on Monday, on the eve of his fourth round match against No.6 Tomas Berdych. âFor me, it’s a great routine. You always remember the good things you did, the bad things you did, the different things you can do in the next game. It is also useful.
Although he is a steadfast poster, Thiem sometimes conveys defeat in detail.
He becomes more upset with a loss if he writes about it, he said, adding: “But that’s also part of the game, so you can’t just write after the wins.”
Thiem has had a lot of wins to tell this year as his ranking dropped from 139th to 45th.
“First second week of a slam of my first year on tour,” he wrote after his third round victory over 19th seed Feliciano LÃ³pez. âJust noble. I had answers to everything in his game today. I was surprised at how well I could handle his slice. Hit some really good passing shots. And came back mega.
Thiem usually only writes the German versions of his messages, leaving the English translations to a friend, Stefan Wagner. But in either version, it’s easy to understand Thiem’s ââfavorite word: mega. Mega is a popular modifier among young German speakers, but Thiem and Wagner often make the word much more syntactically flexible.
Thiem used it twice on Monday to describe his tactics for his next game, which he helped formulate by watching footage of his friend and mentor Ernests Gulbis beating Berdych at Roland-Garros.
âYou have to be very aggressive throughout the game,â he wrote. âIt can be risky, but there is no other way. Ernests celebrated it perfectly in Paris, but you have to remember that my serve is not as mega as his.
Unlike Thiem, Gulbis has no visible social media presence, and he is the only top 20 player without a Twitter account.
“It’s also good like that,” Thiem said of Gulbis’ offline status. âI think you should do it completely, or you shouldn’t do it at all. It doesn’t do that at all, which is just as well. But the middle way, I think, is not that good.
Thiem’s ââ”complete way” of keeping a dedicated journal and writing seriously quickly made his page popular with tennis fans who may not have been familiar with his game and personality.
âI think people can get to know me a little better, how I am,â he said. “It’s important, I think, because on the pitch you have to act differently than on the outside, and if people see that you’re a nice, normal person on the outside, then I think that ‘ is very positive. “
He added: âI think everyone on the pitch wants to win. Everyone wants – not to destroy, but wants to beat each other, of course. I don’t know how people see it, but off the pitch you can relax, you can be normal. You don’t need to have that killer instinct.
Thiem is among the first players who grew up with Facebook to make an impact on the tour, and he said he believes social media connectivity made the trip more manageable.
“I think it’s pretty positive,” he said. âYou spend so much time alone and it helps you keep in touch with your friends, your fans. Most are positive, but if you’re spending too much time on the phone, it’s not that great.
Thiem against his phone use with a lot of fieldwork, and as a mega-talented baseman with a powerful one-handed backhand, which helped him become the youngest man in the top 50.
âI think it can never go fast enough,â he said of his early successes. âIt’s great, and the faster the better. “