Dominic Thiem has come out in support of under-fire Novak Djokovic and other tennis players who participated at the controversial Adria Tour last month. Defending Djokovic’s actions of hosting the exhibition tennis tournament amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Thiem said Djokovic did not 'commit any crime' in hosting the event and that criticism has gone too far. Thiem was one of the few players, who was not affected by the virus even as Djokovic and his wife Jelena, coach Goran Ivanisevic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all tested positive for coronavirus after participating at the exhibition tour. US Open Restrictions Makes Participation Risky in Grand Slam, Says Dominic Thiem.
The tour had to be then cancelled and all the players returned home to remain in quarantine. Thiem underwent two tests for the virus, which has already claimed over 575, 000 lives. Thiem is currently in Germany and is participating at an exhibition event in Berlin to prepare himself for the upcoming US Open. Theim, who lost to Djokovic in the season’s first Grand Slam final in Australia, apologised for the behaviour of the players during the Adria Tour. Novak Djokovic Receives Death Threats After Adria Tour Turns COVID-Hotspot, Wall in Croatia Painted With Sinister Messages.
“We have to learn from the mistakes and be careful nowadays with this pandemic we are facing. That’s what we have to take from the Adria Tour,” said the World No 4. “Novak and the others didn’t commit any crimes, you have to make that point. The fact we were criticized is not unfair because we all made mistakes. That’s clear. But it was way too much at the end because the whole tournament was well-intended.”
The Austrian also took a dig at fellow tennis professional Nick Kyrgios for his criticism of Alexander Zverev over flouting lockdown and quarantine rules to party with friends. “The subject is done. Certain opinions, especially from Australia, are very unnecessary,” said Thiem taking a dig at Kyrgios.
Meanwhile, Thiem is preparing himself for the US Open, which is scheduled to be held from August 31. But the 26-year-old has also expressed his reservations about the restrictions imposed. Among the many restrictions put in place for the Grand Slam event, which includes playing behind closed doors and not stepping out of hotels, the one rule players have expressed discontentment about most is the allowance of only one non-playing member to assist the player during matches.
At least “three-four people should be allowed with a player,” Thiem said joining the likes of Rafael Nadal, Djokovic, Ashleigh Barty who have opined the sam about those restrictions.