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Thiem Doing Plenty Of Talking On And Off The Court At French Open Tennis


By Ricky Dimon


Two days after experiencing some unexpected press-room controversy, Dominic Thiem made sure that it was his tennis making headlines.


Thiem, who had battle through a trio of difficult four-setters during week one of the French Open, took his level to greater heights and crushed an in-form Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 on Monday aftenoon. The fourth-ranked Austrian needed only one hour and 48 minutes to ensure a fourth consecutive trip to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.


While dropping serve only once, Thiem almost doubled his unforced-error count (14) with winners (27).


“It was a really good match,” the 2018 runner-up assured. “My best match so far in this tournament. And I have to be honest, he helped me a little bit because he had a really bad start into the match. Of course, the life on court is way easier if you’re up 5-2 double-break after only 20 minutes . That really helped me.


“After that I stayed solid. It was the first match for me at this tournament where it didn’t have any up-and-downs. It was really solid. I’m very happy.”


Thiem also must have been happy that this press conference proceeded without incident.


That was hardly the case on Saturday, when Thiem began his presser in the main interview room at 8:20 p.m. following his win over Pablo Cuevas. Serena Williams, whose loss to Sofia Kenin wrapped up at 8:17, stormed straight to the media center and was eager to get her own interview out of the way. To make a long story short, it was Thiem who had to get out of the way–moved to room 2 to make room for Serena.


“I don’t know who’s fault it was exactly,” Thiem, who had been critical of Serena’s actions, said following Monday’s win over Monfils. “I don’t know if it was her mistake or if it was only the mistake of the officials, but I don’t know if she saw me or if she saw that somebody’s in the room. So if she would have seen me, then it would be nicer from her to wait…. It was just a very, very strange thing. I mean, it never happened to me before. I’m easygoing.


“It was strange the first few minutes, but I have forgotten it now. That’s it for me…. It’s also understandable, in a sort of way. She lost and everything. So I think it was a little bit mistake of her, mistake of the officials, but as I said, it’s forgotten. It was a funny thing, strange thing, which made a big round in all the social networks. But…well…now I don’t put any attention on it anymore.”


Thiem was then asked if he got fined for declining to finish the rest of his press conference in room 2 and leaving the grounds prior to giving TV interviews.


“I’m the only one who didn’t do any mistakes there,” he explained, “so why I should get fined? No, I was only one who was not doing mistakes. No, I didn’t get fined.”


An one other thing’s for sure, too: Thiem also didn’t make any mistakes on the court on Monday.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Dominic Thiem of Austria plays Gael Monfils of France during their men?s round of 16 match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 03 June 2019. EPA-EFE/JULIEN DE ROSA

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