What's the story?
Former Rio Open winner Dominic Thiem reflected on his past achievements in the South American tennis tournaments ahead of Brazil's ATP 500 event. The Austrian player stated that clay is his favorite surface and he does not mind playing on it for a week or two before switching to hard courts once again.
The world number four had started his new decade with a solid performance in Australian Open 2020. He overcame Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev on his road to the finale but could not topple the defending champion, Novak Djokovic, in the final match. Thiem has achieved more success on the clay courts and hence has made himself available for the 2020 edition of Rio Open.
The heart of the matter
Speaking to ATP before kicking off his Rio Open campaign, Thiem explained why he is taking part in the clay court event. He said:
“For me, it’s no problem to [play] on clay for one or two weeks and then switch back to hard courts. Coming on clay is like coming home. I like the surface and also really like South America. It’s a completely different atmosphere… I’ve had great experiences, won here, won Buenos Aires twice, so it’s very easy for me to come back here.“
He also opened up on his loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open and continued:
“I feel great about the performance in Melbourne. It was a hell of a two weeks, beating three Top 10 guys and then losing to Novak Djokovic 6-4 in the fifth. Of course, it was a huge disappointment… But after some time to reflect, it was a great tournament and start to the season. I hope to keep that good form going."
Dominic Thiem will look to win his second Rio Open championship when he begins his campaign against hometown favorite Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves.