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Vienna tournament director gives update about Dominic Thiem's injury, criticizes Novak Djokovic's press conference comments

Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem
Modified 01 Nov 2020, 20:59 IST

The ATP Erste Bank Open wound up on Sunday amid much fanfare. But while the fans and tournament organizers were hoping for a dream final between World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and local hero Dominic Thiem, the actual final saw the red-hot Russian Andrey Rublev beat lucky loser Lorenzo Sonego.

Dominic Thiem went down to Rublev in the quarterfinals, slowed down by a blister on his foot. Novak Djokovic meanwhile looked flat and uninspired in his quarterfinal loss to Sonego, winning just three games in the process.

Novak Djokovic has confirmed that he will be ready for the season-ending ATP finals in London, adding that he wasn't too bothered about his Vienna loss. But there have been some concerns as to whether Dominic Thiem will play the season finale, given that he has pulled out of the Paris Masters.

However, Dominic Thiem's physio Alex Stober and manager Herwig Straka (who is also the Vienna tournament director) have now given a reassuring update about the Austrian's injury. Although the blister is not a typical one, Stober is confident that Thiem will be able to prepare for London after a few days of rest.

“[Dominic Thiem] did not suffer from a typical blister [but] rather a tissue contusion on the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toe,” Stober said. "I’m sure that he can prepare for London in the next four or five days."

Some reports had suggested that the Adidas shoes that Dominic Thiem wears may have been responsible for the issue. But Straka dismissed any such claims, instead echoing Thiem's assertion earlier that the shoes are perfectly fine.

“We do everything with Adidas,” Herwig Straka said. “It is measured, tested and tried again and again.”

Novak Djokovic shouldn't have said what he did in the press conference: Vienna tournament director

Novak Djokovic (R) and Lorenzo Sonego
Novak Djokovic (R) and Lorenzo Sonego

Straka also commented on Novak Djokovic's statements in the press after his loss, which had caused a stir among tennis fans. The World No. 1 complimented his opponent for his great play but also said that achieving his goal of winning two matches - thus all but guaranteeing his year-end World No. 1 ranking - may have affected his performance.

"He just blew me off the court, that's all. He was better in every segment of the game...It had an effect on me. As I said, I did what I had to do and why I came here. I keep going and have no problem with today's result and look to the next chapter," Novak Djokovic had said.

Straka was not happy about the latter comment, suggesting that Djokovic could have been more tactful while speaking to the press.

"I find such statements not required. Even if you would think so, you don't say that in any press conference," Straka said.
Published 01 Nov 2020, 20:59 IST
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