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Dominic Thiem claims top players have "no great advantage" as the regulations in Adelaide and Melbourne are "exactly the same"

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem
Namit Kumar
Modified 20 Jan 2021

Dominic Thiem, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams and a couple of other top players have all been spending their isolation period in Adelaide instead of Melbourne. That hasn't gone down well with some of the other players, who have accused Tennis Australia of giving preferential treatment to the big stars.

But Dominic Thiem believes there is no difference between the conditions in Adelaide and Melbourne, except for the fact that there are fewer people around in the former.

"The quarantine regulations are exactly the same as in Melbourne, from which there will be no great advantage," Dominic Thiem said. "Of course, it is perhaps a bit more pleasant in Adelaide when there are not 300 people there, but only about 20."

Thiem is also looking forward to the exhibition event that is to be held in Adelaide on the 29th and 30th of January.

"It also raises money for the region, which is a good thing. It will also be the first exhibition in front of people again," the Austrian said.

Dominic Thiem believes he still has some work to do physically to get back to his best ahead of the Australian Open. The Austrian pointed out how being in top shape at the start of the season has been crucial to his fortunes over the last couple of years.

"In the last eight or nine years I've always been warm throughout December," said the 27-year-old. "Simply because I have had a longer vacation and have had a really long time, so that I am fully there on time. Especially from mid-2019 and throughout 2020, I felt in top shape in all areas such as endurance and speed. We made sure that it stays that way."

Looking forward to playing in front of crowds in Melbourne: Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem at the BNP Paribas Open 2019
Dominic Thiem at the BNP Paribas Open 2019

Dominic Thiem further revealed that he is very excited to be playing in front of crowds once again, something he has not done since the Rio Open in February 2020.

"Really look forward to it," the Austrian said. "That will be most of the people since Rio. That would be the first time since Los Angeles last March where we can do it like this."
"Knowing how strict COVID regulations are in Australia, however, I'm not looking forward to any freedom too early," he added.

The Austrian will be representing his country both at the ATP Cup in February and at the Olympics in the summer, a prospect he is very excited for ahead of the 2021 season.

"We definitely want to play well (at the ATP Cup). I also think that we have good chances because we have a strong team. Last year it was a bit bitter because I was also well-prepared and then played two poor games. I hope to do better this year," Thiem said.

When it comes to the Olympics, however, the Austrian expressed caution about the event given the current global health crisis.

"It's been a while since we qualified for it. I'm looking forward to it. Many things are still in the stars because of Corona," Thiem said.

Dominic Thiem also weighed in on the contenders to win Slam titles in the near future. The Austrian claimed that while Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic might still be ahead of the younger players, the likes of himself, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are not too far away.

"Three or four players come into question, myself as well as (Alexander) Zverev, (Daniil) Medvedev and (Stefanos) Tsitsipas. (Nadal and Djokovic) are a small step above Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Zverev and me, but of the six everyone has a good chance of winning that," the Austrian said.
Published 20 Jan 2021, 12:20 IST
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