2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem had to sacrifice many things during his teenage years but he has no regrets over it. Thiem, ranked at No. 4 in the world, has been one of the best players on the Tour over the last five years.
"Well, I think everybody who is a professional athlete has to sacrifice a lot. For me especially the years from 13 to 17, 18, they were pretty tough. I mean, there was only school, practice, homework, sleep, and that's like all year long.
There was nothing else at all. That was pretty tough years," Thiem said at the Madrid Masters. "Also when you're younger, when you're teenager, you don't think so much about it. That's why I also didn't really miss it.
Well, I don't know how everything would be if I would have done it differently."
Thiem doesn't regret missing parties
"When asked if he regretted missing parties as a teenager, Thiem said: "I don't regret it, but I miss it, yes.
I do it now sometimes. Now I have a little bit more freedom than back then. Of course, it's unbelievable nice to have a great, I don't know, sunny afternoon with friends sitting, talking about everything. That's basically what didn't happen between 13 and 17.
"Of course, I miss it. But I try to do it now as often as possible." In the Madrid Masters round-of-16, Thiem handed a 7-6 (7) 6-4 loss to Australian Alex de Minaur. Thiem was down by a break in the first set but he recovered to steal the opener.
Thiem blew an early second set break but broke de Minaur again and held on to his serve to earn a straight-set win. "I think it was pretty good match from both of us, I would say. For me it was perfect because obviously he's first of all a top player, and second of all he also likes to play longer rallies.
There were some good, long rallies. I was many, many times out of breath. It was perfect for me to get back a little bit the match rhythm, to run down a lot of balls," Thiem said. "Also the score was super close, no? I mean, if I don't make that backhand passing shot at set point down, it's a different story.
"It was a match that had everything. As it's my first tournament, as it's my way back, a buildup for the next week, it was great for me."