Dominic Thiem kicked off his 2020 Nitto ATP Finals campaign with a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 win against Stefanos Tsitsipas, against whom he had lost in the final of the same event last year.
Following his big win, the Austrian was quick to put up a blog post on his website detailing his experience at this year's starkly different edition of the ATP Finals. The tournament will be moving to Turin in 2021, and the last edition in London is being played without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the post, Dominic Thiem spoke about the major restrictions in place for health and safety, and how they have impacted his preparation for the tournament.
"There is a lot of space for very few people, even the tables at the players' restaurant were rearranged to meet 'corona-standards'. We are tested every three days, the strict concept of hygiene was elaborated to the finest detail," the Austrian wrote. "To be honest: I have gotten used to living in a bubble for the last weeks, but then you reach a point where it gets exhausting."
Dominic Thiem also expressed his sadness about the lack of crowds at the O2 Arena. However, he was quick to add that he can't complain, and that he's grateful for the great hygiene and safety standards.
"At the final last year a crowd of 17,000 fans created an incredible atmosphere at the O2-Arena, on this Sunday it was very, very quiet," Dominic Thiem wrote.
"It is so sad that there are no spectators allowed - however, in times as nowadays we have to live with it," the US Open champion added. "We are lucky to play this event. At least the sport aficionados get some distraction from this Corona-pandemic."
I achieved revenge for my 2019 loss: Dominic Thiem
The World No. 3 was also glad to get revenge on Tsitsipas following his defeat to the Greek in a deciding set tiebreak during last year's final.
"7:6, 4:6, 6:3 in London against Stefanos Tsitsipas! In my eighth game against the Greek I won my fifth match, I achieved revenge for my loss at the Masters final of 2019. This is a perfect start into the season final, I got myself into a good position for the other group matches," said the 27-year-old.Published 16 Nov 2020, 18:16 IST