The tennis tour is still on hold, with no certainty as to when (if at all) it will return this year. But even as the future of the calendar hangs in the balance, World No. 3 Dominic Thiem has expressed his desire to win the Davis Cup final. The Austrian is hoping for the tournament to take place this year, and for his nation to go all the way.
The Australian Open runner-up, who recently appeared on a weekly Austrian sports broadcast "Sport am Sonntag", said that he hopes there will be more competitive tennis this year. In particular, he wishes that the Davis Cup final goes ahead in Madrid later this year as scheduled.
Dominic Thiem, who is notorious for playing too many tournaments and making his schedule physically taxing, is already on the entry list for a number of showcase tournaments this year. And the Davis Cup Final, for which Austria has qualified for the first time, is big on the wish-list of the three-time Grand Slam finalist.
"If I want to play Davis Cup, I will play," Thiem said. "I always loved playing Davis Cup. I love spending the week with the team. I hope the final tournament will take place in Madrid."
This assurance from Thiem will certainly boost Austria's chances in the second edition of the new format of the Davis Cup final.
The other 17 teams set to participate in the week-long competition in November are Australia, Croatia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Czechia, Great Britain, Russia, USA, Ecuador, Hungary, Serbia, Colombia, France, Italy, defending champions Spain and last year's runner-ups Canada.
Thiem also assured the Austrian fans that his move to a new training base wouldn't affect his commitments to the ÖTV (the Austrian Tennis federation) Davis Cup Team. The Austrian No. 1 recently moved his training base to Vienna's Alt-Erlaa training facility from his previous set-up in the southern part of the city.
Dominic Thiem happy about normal life resuming slowly
With the lockdown restrictions slowly being eased in most countries of Europe, the World No. 3 expressed his happiness at things slowly returning to normal. Thiem, who played the Austrian Tennis Federation's Generali Austrian Pro Series last week, said he has a series of small tournaments lined up to gain match practice before the tour resumes in full swing.
"It is starting slowly for now. If everything goes smoothly, I will play in Belgrade on June 13 and 14, then in France, Berlin and Kitzbuhel," Thiem said.
"It is cool that normal life is starting slowly," he added.
Thiem also said that he has been spending his time away from tennis immersed in "marathon PlayStation evenings" with his brother Moritz and best friend fellow Austrian tennis player Dennis Novak.
Dominic Thiem using the break to further environmental causes
The Austrian has also used his time off to further his support for the environmental causes he has come to be associated with. Thiem recently took time to support a WWF (World Wildlife Fund) project to equip young sea eagles with transmitters.
"The resettlement was extremely successful," he said.
Thiem, who is also known for discouraging the use of plastic bottles in tennis and advocating the reuse of glass bottles, is committed to reducing plastic in the oceans.
"I try to be a role model," Thiem added.
That might explain why Thiem was quick to give the name of actor Leonardo DiCaprio when asked about someone he would like to have dinner with.
"That would be Leonardo DiCaprio."
The triple Grand Slam finalist couldn't stop expressing his admiration for the way DiCaprio has used his celebrity status to promote animal welfare and climate protection. A few days ago Thiem had also said he'd like DiCaprio to play him in a movie.