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"It's hard to imagine that this will go on forever" - Dominic Thiem on the economic impact of COVID on sports

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem
Modified 26 Oct 2020, 17:05 IST

US Open champion Dominic Thiem recognizes that tournaments have to offer lower prize money due to the economic impact of the current global pandemic, but hops that the situation will level off at some point in the coming months.

The World No. 3 was speaking in Vienna, where he is competing at the Erste Bank Open this week. The total prize money on offer in Vienna is €1,409,510 which is a 38.6% drop as compared to 2019.

The US Open offered $53.4 million in total player compensation this year – nearly 95% of its total from 2019. That, however, included $7.6 million dedicated towards player relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, total prize money at the 2020 French Open was €38,000,000, which is down just 10.93% compared to 2019.

"I do believe that many tournaments have to go down with the prize money during this time," Dominic Thiem said. "But that affects this whole spectrum - by that I mean big sports like soccer, tennis and some US sports - where the prize money is very, very high and has continued to rise. It's hard to imagine that this will go on forever. It would be a healthy thing for everyone involved if the whole thing levels off somewhere in the middle."

The ATP tour has already announced reductions in prize money for some tournaments in the first quarter of 2021.

I'm grateful that we can play in Vienna at all: Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros 2020
Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros 2020

After winning the US Open, Dominic Thiem reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in Paris. He now feels refreshed and ready to defend his title this week, having spent some time home relaxing.

"I regenerated well for a few days at home and for a change did nothing. It took a while to get back to my physical level, but I would say that I am fully back in my mind and body. It just took a little time after Paris to be able to reflect on everything," the Austrian said.

Dominic Thiem went on to express his gratitude for being able to play this week in Vienna, where seven of the world's top 10 players have gathered (including World No. 1 Novak Djokovic). Thiem also praised the organizers for their efforts to create a comfortable tournament for the players.

"I'm so grateful that we can play here at all. And we lack nothing. This is my first time living here in the hotel, otherwise I was always a home sleeper, but everything is simply sensational: the food, the hotel itself, the court in the town hall. Everything is arranged and really cool that we can at least play in front of 1000 spectators," Thiem said.
Published 26 Oct 2020, 16:21 IST
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