‘I’m not a machine’: Physical issues plague Thiem during shock loss

Dominic Thiem won’t use them as an excuse for falling to Grigor Dimitrov but he hinted at “physical issues” after his shock straight-sets loss to the Bulgarian.

Thiem looked a shell of himself as he went down 4-6, 4-6, 0-6 to the 18th seed.

The match took two hours and the final set just 21 minutes.

Grigor Dimitrov consoles Dominic Thiem at the net after their fourth-round clash.Credit:Getty

Thiem had looked below 100 per cent in the first two sets of his five-set win against Nick Kyrgios. But after giving away a two-set lead, the Austrian was able to lift his game to the same standard that saw him win last year’s US Open.

There was no third set lift on Sunday afternoon.

“I think a combination of some things, some little physical issues, plus a real bad day, plus the
fact that, well, he’s a great player,” Thiem said when asked what went wrong.

“So a combination of those three things, and a result like that can happen.”

Thiem was then asked to elaborate on the “physical issues”.

“Well, some little physical issues. I don’t want to go closer to them. I don’t want to find any excuses,” he said.

“But the thing also is that I’m also not a machine. I mean, sometimes I would like to be, but there are really, really bad days.

“As soon as you’re not 100 per cent there on the court at this level, then results like this come up, and that’s exactly what happened today.”

Thiem denied that the five-set thriller against Kyrgios had any bearing on his performance against Dimitrov. But the tennis he played was a long way from the level he produced to win his first grand slam in New York City.

“Well, it’s a really bad day today, bad match for my side. But the high from the US Open is long gone,” he said.

“It was great for some days, but the tennis world goes on so fast. I think for everybody and also for myself.

“On court, it was forgotten already at the French Open and doesn’t really affect me anymore, especially now that it’s four or five months gone.”

Dimitrov will next play Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev, who stunned top Canadian talent Felix Auger-Aliassime in five sets at Margaret Court Arena.

The Russian journeyman gave away a two-set lead before cruising through the final three sets to qualify for the quarter-finals in his first grand slam.

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