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Dominic Thiem: "I will be the best prepared player in Novak Djokovic's tournament"

Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open final.
Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open final.

Novak Djokovic's charity tournament in the Balkans has already grabbed the headlines and World No 3 Dominic Thiem, one of the star attractions of the unique competition, feels he will be ready for it.

It is clear from his statement that Austrian star Dominic Thiem is not taking the Adria Tour lightly.

"I am very lucky because I think I am the only tennis player in the tournament who has already played some competitive matches. I had the opportunity to play the Pro Series in Austria and everything seems to indicate that I will be the best prepared tennis player in Belgrade," Thiem said of the competition's first leg that is set to be held in Serbia.

With the tour still suspended, any tennis tournament - especially something as big as the Adria Tour which features so many prominent names - will be the cynosure of all eyes. These events would also give the players a great opportunity to get some big match practice under their belt.

Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem not the only stars in the fray

Alexander Zverev.
Alexander Zverev.

Though the charity initiative is not part of the regular ATP Tour, it has attracted interest from a whole host of stars. Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic aren't the only big names who will be battling it out in Belgrade.

German hot shot Alexander Zverev, currently the seventh ranked player in the world, will also participate in the tournament. And Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, once ranked World No. 3, will join Djokovic, Thiem and Zverev to complete a star-studded lineup.

Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov

Novak Djokovic in particular seems raring to go after COVID-19 brought to a halt his searing start to the 2020 season. Djokovic is on an 18-match winning streak, which includes his triumph at the Australian Open in Melbourne - where he defeated Dominic Thiem in a tense five-set final.

Novak Djokovic officially announced the tournament on his Twitter handle late last month and also mentioned that he would personally be welcoming his guests on 13 and 14 June in Belgrade. The tournament will then move on to other locations in the Balkans, with the sole of intention of raising money for humanitarian projects.

The first leg of the eight-player tournament will be held in Djokovic's own tennis facility on clay.

Dominic Thiem with a packed schedule for the next 2 months

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem has looked the biggest threat to the Big 3's hegemony in recent years. He also seems to have the number of the Next Gen; Thiem beat Zverev in the semifinal of the Australian Open before falling short to Novak Djokovic in the final.

Although this is not the time to be seeking revenge, Dominic Thiem will no doubt have that heart-wrenching defeat at the back of his mind when he arrives in Belgrade.

Thiem is yet to break his Grand Slam jinx, despite having reached three finals. Most believe the the Austrian's time has arrived. And the 26-year-old is certainly doing his best to keep himself match-fit during the suspension of the tour.

Thiem participated in the Austrian Pro Series last week, where he played a string of matches on clay. He will also be joining Alexander Zverev at the Berlin event in July, followed by his own claycourt tournament in Kitzbuhel.

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Edited by Musab Abid
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