World No. 3 Dominic Thiem has decided to participate in the Olympics, stating that it would be a dream to play at the Tokyo Games in 2021.
The Austrian had earlier announced he wouldn't be competing in the Tokyo Games originally scheduled for July 2020, as it would have clashed with his home ATP event - the Austrian Open in Kitzbuhel. But while speaking to the media at the season-ending ATP Finals in London, Dominic Thiem expressed his desire to compete in the Tokyo Games next year if they go ahead as per the current schedule.
"It would be great for everybody it it's going to happen and especially in Tokyo, which is a great city, one of my favorite cities. I got lucky, to say, because I wouldn't be able to play the Olympics in 2020 because I was playing Kitzbuhel back then, or I was supposed to, but 2021, I think I am able to play the Olympics," Dominic Thiem said.
"And honestly I changed my mind a little bit about the Olympics from the beginning of my career where other tournaments were more important for me. But now it would be a dream to participate in the Olympics so if there is chance I definitely want to play in them next summer," Thiem added.
Dominic Thiem went on to explain that seeing the emotions of Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro while competing at the Rio Olympics was the reason behind the change. Murray had defeated del Potro 7–5, 4–6, 6–2, 7–5 to win the singles gold medal in 2016.
"I saw the emotions of Murray and del Potro. Maybe I can play three Olympic Games in my career," Thiem said.
The World No. 3 is currently being coached by Nicolas Massu, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. In fact, Massu is the only male player to have won both the singles and doubles gold medals at the same edition of the Olympics.
Dominic Thiem 'feeling great physically and mentally' heading into the ATP Finals
Dominic Thiem feels physically and mentally fresh heading into this year's ATP Finals. The Austrian may even head to Australia directly after the tournament to prepare for the first Grand Slam of the next season.
"Last year I was a little bit sick here, but I played great. I needed a break afterwards. This year, I’m feeling great - physically and mentally. I could probably go to Australia straight away," Thiem said.
As per reports, players need to arrive in Australia by mid-December in order to complete two weeks of quarantine before competing. Tennis Australia officials have stated that they are currently working with government officials to ensure that the athletes can train inside a bubble during their quarantine period.
Dominic Thiem plays his first match at the ATP Finals against defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday, in a rematch of last year's final.Published 14 Nov 2020, 16:53 IST