Dominic Thiem's split with coach Thomas Muster partway through the Australian Open was apparently due to disagreements about the way the No. 4 should play.
Thiem and Muster had worked together for just a couple of weeks, announcing just before the tournament that the former Grand Slam champion would join current coach Nicolas Massu on the team. But Thiem's father, Wolfgang, a tennis coach who had been helping the three-time Grand Slam finalist at the Australian Open, told press that Thiem had decided to stop the arrangement.
"For me, the most important thing is that the coach understands what the player needs and not that the coach wants a copy of himself," he said. "Dominic needs someone who gives him the free space to develop, to play his game.
"If you have someone who says too much, who is too into it, it doesn't work.
It is unusual for a player to both bring on and also split with a coach during a Grand Slam event, but it did not appear to hamper Thiem, who defeated Rafael Nadal en route to his third Grand Slam final. When announcing the split, he had said the pair were still friendly.
"It was unlucky it happened during a Grand Slam tournament," said Thiem's father. "On the other hand, you have to try it during such an important tournament."
Thiem fell to Novak Djokovic in five sets in the Melbourne final.