Dominic Thiem, who hasn’t been at his best since returning from the five-month forced hiatus due to Coronavirus, played well enough to see off his Indian opponent Sumit Nagal 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round of the US Open on Thursday.
But the Austrian No 2 seed got in an argument with the authorities over drinking straight from the Red Bull can during his match.
“It’s not allowed, the Red Bull can, on court, which is completely fine,” said Thiem, who gestured to his team to bring out a can of the energy drink during the match.
“Sometimes it helps me a lot on court, so I want to have it. I can also drink it in a plain cup. There was a little bit of a conversation. Well, I don’t want to tell the details now. It was a little bit awkward, I guess. Next time I’m going to go with a plain cup, that’s it.”
Due to the ambush marketing rules, Thiem was not allowed to display the name of the drink as it is not one of the official sponsors of the US Open. Thiem is one of the four players at the Open who is sponsored by Red Bull.
“Give me a plain cup, I’ll somehow cover it and then I’ll put it in… I mean what the heck is this?” Thiem was heard saying on the court.
But the Austrian said what irritated him was that the officials said they will pour the drink in a plain cup and bring it to him.
“They wanted to go out with the open can and fill it in a plain cup without me observing it,” said Thiem, who celebrated his 27th birthday on Thursday.
“That’s what pis**d me off a little bit because the anti-doping rules are so strict. I don’t want to lose the can out of my sight. In general, they are so strict rules these days, and they propose me to fill the can in a plain cup without me observing it. That pis**d me off a little bit.”
The Austrian’s game has blown hot and cold at the hard-court major so far, but Thiem will have to keep his cool as he takes on former US Open champion Marin Cilic in the third round.