In search of the right feeling again

Raemon Sluiter and Thiemo have their first tournament in Estoril since the renewal of their collaboration. The coach has clear goals with the 22-year old Dutchman.

Regain stability
“We saw that Thiemo wasn’t completely fresh the last six months. He struggled a bit with his physical and mental form”, tells Sluiter at the Estádio Nacional complex. “Thiemo has to regain stability and the good feeling on court again. He has been on the rise the past eighteen months and now competes with the best. With the quality of Thiemo you can win some rounds at a challenger maybe. But you can’t make it on ATP level when you’re not completely fresh. So we are working on that.”

There is the big focus during the practice sessions of Sluiter and Thiemo, with some space for a joke. The former world number 46 describes the difference since his first coaching stint with Thiemo in 2008. “His development is like a young tennis player should. Thiemo has become more mature and professional. For example, he has hired a foreign fitness coach (Damian Prasad, red.) who travels with him around 30 weeks a year. An investment like this says enough how Thiemo has developed and how he thinks about his career.”

Thiemo’s tour absence has dropped him to the 81st place on the world ranking. The Haarlem resident also defends a third round at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. No issue for Sluiter. “I think Thiemo has done a good job when he is able to stabilize his ranking around the 50th position at the end of the year. You can look further from there, including a season of more experience. Let’s not think too much about rankings, now it is important that he will get the right feeling again. With that in mind the results will come for sure, because one thing is obvious: Thiemo hasn’t found his limits at all.”