By Erik Gudris
Newly crowned US Open champion Dominic Thiem and his family face a lawsuit from his former coach.
This is just days after the third-ranked Austrian won his maiden major title in New York.
Per German news outlet DerStandard, former coach Gunter Bresnik is suing Thiem’s family. Bresnik began coaching Thiem when he was eight years old and continued to coach him until last year. Thiem then started working with two-time Olympic gold medalist Nicolas Massu.
Wolfgang Thiem, Thiem’s father, spoke on Monday night on Austrian television during a panel discussion.
“It really makes me sad. I was a good friend of Gunter Bresnik,” Wolfgang Thiem said. “We are now so far past our working with him that he sued us. The situation is unpleasant, but the story is over for me. Things have been going uphill since the separation.”
Bresnik responded to the broadcast in a statement by saying, “I ask for your understanding that I will not comment on this for the time being. To focus on this discussion would be disrespectful to Dominic’s outstanding performance in New York. This should be the media focus and nothing else.”
While the exact focus of Bresnik’s lawsuit is still unclear, there was a definite public fallout between Thiem and his former coach in the year and a half after they stopped working together.
Thiem’s father credited Bresnik with helping Thiem’s game for many years. But he also cited that his son sought more independence in his career after having been with Bresnik since a child. The now 27-year-old Thiem also wanted a new direction in his game, hence why he hired Massu, a former Top 10 player, who won a pair of gold medals for Chile in the 2004 Olympic Games.
Thiem’s father added that his son felt he did not have much freedom working with Bresnik.
“He taught him certain things, no question about it,” Wolfgang Thiem said about Bresnik’s influence. “But from my point of view, very, very, little has progressed in the last four or five years.”
It’s the latest in an ongoing dispute.
Bresnik, who said in an interview earlier this year that Thiem’s father would be no more than a club coach and Thiem a futures player without him, had worked with Thiem since the Austrian was a child (thanks to Austrian sportswriter Jannik Schneider for the translation and tweets).
Former lifetime coach/manager Günter Bresnik with harsh words about family Thiem via austrian agency APA
“(…)You cant do that to someone that you owe everything. His dad would be a clubcoach and Dominic a futures player without me”
— Jannik Schneider (@schnejan) March 31, 2020
Thiem has responded to those comments, saying “When he complains about a lack of respect, and says that I owe it all to him, and seriously suggests that I would have been a futures player without him, I have to ask whether he has developed delusions of grandeur.”
Thiems public answer to Bresnik via APA (cc @ZahrerLukas tweeted it in 🇩🇪)
„Its deporable, that he always blames my family and me in public for whatever reason after we worked succesfully for so many years.”
— Jannik Schneider (@schnejan) April 1, 2020
“I did not part ways with him without a reason,” Thiem, who parted ways with Bresnik in 2019, added. “Bresnik knows the reasons and at this time I won’t make them public.”