Wolfgang Thiem feels proud for his son Dominic’s success, but in an interview to Standard during the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, he spoke about the sacrifices that a whole family needs to make in order to try to make their son or daughter have success in tennis.
‘When I meet parents whose children are at the beginning of their career, I feel sorry for them. They do not know what to expect. You just have no idea how much it costs, and maybe that’s a good thing. If you set up a financing plan, you would probably rip the note and take away the bat from the child.
If the enthusiasm for the sport is missing, you can forget it right away’, said Wolfgang. Was there an alternative plan if it did not work? ‘No. But we were not one hundred per cent sure that everything would work out, even as a family we doubted.
But there never was a plan.’ Both Dominic and second son Moritz, who earned his first ATP Rankings point a few weeks ago, have dropped out of school. ‘It was a very deliberate decision that I still stand behind’, Wolfgang explained.
‘A tennis career and school are incompatible. The school system does not allow a tennis career. The people in charge have no idea how time-consuming it is. It’s like having a trainee job: nobody asks a carpenter apprentice what he has leamed and what happens if he does not succeed.’ Thiem will face Sam Querrey on Thursday in Vienna.