Muster hopes to help mastermind Thiem Grand Slam legacy

 - Alex Sharp

1995 Roland-Garros champion will join Nicolas Massu in coaching Dominic Thiem during the 2020 campaign.

Dominic Thiem smiling after a victory during Roland-Garros 2019©Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

Austrian tennis fans will be delighted to hear that Dominic Thiem has even more artillery this season in his quest for Grand Slam glory.

1995 Roland-Garros champion Thomas Muster has been announced as a co-coach in 2020.

“He's the only one I ever would have done it for“

Muster was team Austria’s captain at the ATP Cup, which is where talks were consolidated with Thiem.

The world No.4, who prevailed in one of three ATP Cup matches in Sydney, will continue to work alongside Nicolas Massu in 2020, but Muster will also contribute for 20 weeks this year.

Muster feels it is a privilege to be offered this opportunity and believes they can propel Thiem to the top of the game.

“If I can achieve with him to be No. 1 and to win a Grand Slam, I think he's the only one I ever would have done it for, because to have an Austrian who has that opportunity, you have to kind of commit yourself. It's almost a must,” Muster told

“It is an honour that a player like Dominic is looking back at me and saying, ‘Well, there could be some help for me.’ And I'm happy to put all my knowledge and my experience that I had all those many, many years playing tournaments if I can add some value to his game.”

Thomas Muster at Roland-Garros 1997©FFT

“You can take Dominic further“

Back in 2011 Muster was attempting a comeback onto the ATP Tour and faced a certain Austrian prodigy on home soil in Vienna. It was Dominic Thiem, who cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 scoreline against his newly appointed coach. It must have felt like the passing of the baton.

Since then former world No.1 Muster has been impressed by his compatriot’s capabilities and is determined to help Thiem emulate his career which heralded 44 titles.

“I want to be committed. I think he's got the skills to be, he's one of the top players, but you can take it further. He has the chances to win Grand Slams. We know that,” continued Muster.

“When this came up, when we started talking about this opportunity, I really had to pinch myself and go, ‘Well, do I want to do this?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I want to.’ I want to commit myself to this guy, and I want to make him better than I ever was.”

Dominic Thiem hitting a forehand suring Roland-Garros 2019©Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

Goals to achieve

Massu and Thiem compiled a successful 2019, with five titles punctuated by a maiden Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells. The 26-year-old featured in a second successive Roland-Garros final and was also in ferocious form at the ATP Finals in November.

At the O2 Arena he dispatched Roger Federer and then Novak Djokovic with blistering force on the groundstrokes. Thiem eventually succumbed to an inspired Stefanos Tsitsipas in the trophy showdown in London, but there is a sense that the Austrian talisman is edging closer to his true potential.

“I think that there are many things that I can still improve. Of course Thomas is best player of Austria all-time by far,” stated Thiem.

“I still haven't achieved the goals I set for myself, and I really want to do everything to achieve them, to achieve at the highest goal you can get to in tennis… He's the only Austrian who achieved that so far, so I think there is nobody who can help me more than him.”