“Saw the Emotions of Murray and Del Potro”: Dominic Thiem Reconsiders His Tokyo Olympics Plans

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After winning his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open 2020, Dominic Thiem aims to lift his first trophy at the ATP World Tour Finals. Unfortunately, the Tokyo Olympics and the Wimbledon Championships had to be suspended this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Summer Olympics have been postponed to July next year.

Surprisingly, Thiem had decided not to participate at the Olympics this year, despite being the only Austrian inside the Top-100 rankings. Instead, he had signed up to compete in the ATP 250 event, Kitzbuhel Open, which was supposed to occur at the same time as the Olympics.

Dominic Thiem at the Vienna Open 2020
Austria’s Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning his first round match against Ukraine’s Vitaliy Sachko REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

However, after the postponement of the international multi-sport event, Thiem revealed that he got incredibly lucky. In an interview, the World No.3 admitted that he has changed his mind and would love to take part in the Olympics next year.

“I got lucky. This year, I wouldn’t have been able to play because of Kitzbuhel. To be honest, I changed my mind. It would be a dream to participate in the Olympics. I would love to play there next year,” said Thiem.

The 27-year-old acknowledged that he changed his view after witnessing the emotions of Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Murray won the gold medal in Rio and became the first male tennis player to win two Olympic singles titles.

“I saw the emotions of Murray and del Potro. Maybe I can play three Olympic Games in my career.“ remarked Thiem.

“Both groups are very strong”: Dominic Thiem

Heading to the season-ending championships, Thiem is placed in the Group London 2020 with Rafael Nadal, Andrey Rublev, and defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.

On the other side, World No.1 Novak Djokovic leads the Group Tokyo 1970 alongside Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, and Diego Schwartzman.

Dominic Thiem
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Austria’s Dominic Thiem in action during his quarter final match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

When asked whether his group was relatively easy than the other, Thiem remarked that both groups were strong and all the eight players were in prime form.

“Not really. There are no good and bad draws here. All eight players are fit and in great shape. Both groups are very strong. The first match will be very important,” said Thiem.

Last year, Thiem defeated Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in successive matches to qualify to the semifinals for the first time. However, despite winning the opening set against Tsitsipas in the final, Thiem ended up losing the thrilling match in the close third-set tiebreak.

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