Grateful Dominic Thiem taking lessons from the past as he returns to US Open

Dominic Thiem revealed how his 2020 US Open win gave him the character to fight back from injury.

It's been a torrid 18 months for the talented Austrian. After a string of losses at the beginning of the 2021 season, he took a break to recover from a knee injury. But on return, Thiem's form did not improve, forcing him to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics.

His difficulties were further compounded after he suffered a wrist injury that forced him out for the rest of the season altogether.

The former world number three continued to struggle on return in 2022, with his first-round loss at the French Open pushing him outside the top 300.

Finally, at a lowly Challenger tournament in July, Thiem earned his first win in 14 months.

Since, Thiem has racked up seven more victories, seemingly putting the worst of his form behind him. Talking to atptour.com, Thiem revealed that the source of this comeback is his maiden Grand Slam win at the US Open back in 2020.

Thiem was down two sets to love down in the final against the rangy Alexander Zverev, but found a way to grind out a memorable comeback victory in the epic but crowd-less Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"The lesson I learned was that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, even when you don't think there is, even when things are very, very tough, when there's a lot of pain or when it seems like there is no way forward," said the 28-year-old as he returns to Flushing Meadows as a wild card.

"I had this feeling quite a lot, especially in the beginning of the wrist injury. But somehow after a while, there is always a little step forward.

"To see those little positive things, it's very important and it's not only in tennis or sports, but all of life."

Thiem returns to New York as a US Open champion for the first time, a label that motivates him.

"It doesn't get old and I think it will never get old [saying that]," he added.

"It will always be special and it will always be there, which makes me very happy. But at the same time, sports is a very fast business and everybody is hungry every day. I have zero advantage because of being a champion."

However, Thiem is likely in for a rough return to Flushing Meadows, as he faces 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the opening round on Monday night.

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