World No. 5 Dominic Thiem advanced to the round of 16 of the Australian Open for the second time on Saturday, but a notable name was missing from his player box.
Thiem, who topped American Taylor Fritz, 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4, had brought on Austria’s lone Grand Slam singles champion Thomas Muster to his team to join coach Nicolas Massu on the road for key tournaments in 2020. But after his latest victory, the two-time French Open finalist revealed the partnership was terminated after just two weeks.
"We ended our working relationship," Thiem told Austrian reporters in Melbourne. "It did not fit. It's easy like that. It is just about work. We get along well personally, and we said in the beginning, if anything is not all right, we will tell each other."
Muster captained Austria at the ATP Cup in Sydney, where Thiem went 1-2 to open his season. In February 2019, Thiem began working with Massu during the Golden Swing in South America. The two clicked immediately, as Thiem went on to capture his first ATP Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells a month later. Massu soon became Thiem’s primary coach after he parted ways with long-time mentor Gunter Bresnik in April. His father, Wolfgang, also travels to select tournaments to assist.
The 26-year-old will bid to reach his first quarterfinal at Melbourne Park when he carries a 5-0 record against his next opponent, No. 10 seed Gael Monfils. The Frenchman defeated qualifier Ernests Gulbis, 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-3.