Dominic Thiem hails ‘unreal’ Vienna Open field, saying defending title is ‘not mission impossible, but almost’
He is the defending champion, but Dominic Thiem admits he faces an uphill battle to retain his Vienna Open trophy as this year’s field is “probably the best [ATP] 500 tournament ever”.
Not only is Thiem the big drawcard due to being the local hero, but he is also the reigning US Open champion after winning his maiden Grand Slam in September.
Usually he would start the tournament as the clear favourite, but the field also contains world No 1 Novak Djokovic as well as Stefanos Tsitsipas (ranked No 5), Daniil Medvedev (No 6), Andrey Rublev (No 8), Diego Schwartzman (No 8), Gael Monfils (No 11) and Denis Shapovalov (No 12).
— Dominic Thiem (@ThiemDomi) October 25, 2020
Three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka and former US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori were thrown in for good measure.
It is easy to see why Thiem, who faces Nishikori first up, feels he is up against it.
“It’s always special to start as a defending champion at a tournament, but this year is unreal, the whole draw,” the Austrian is quoted as saying by ATPTour.com.
“It was strong and then Novak arrived and it got unreal even [more]. [It is] probably the best [ATP] 500 tournament ever. Defending the title is not mission impossible, but almost.”
Novak Djokovic news: Statement from ‘uncomfortable’ world No 1 after he loses visa appeal
Novak Djokovic statement after he lost his visa appeal case.
Novak Djokovic news: It’s all over for world No 1 as he loses appeal and court confirms his deportation
Novak Djokovic ordered to leave Australia.
Thanasi Kokkinakis news: ‘Goat’ Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic heap praise on ‘big fella’
A big week for Thanasi Kokkinakis in Adelaide.
Novak Djokovic news: World No 1 set to learn his Australian Open fate
Djokovic’s visa was cancelled for a second time on Friday.
Novak Djokovic news: Nick Kyrgios unimpressed by Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas stance
Nick Kyrgios standing up for Novak Djokovic.
Emma Raducanu news: Tim Henman exclusive on what happens next for US Open champion
Henman has insisted Emma Raducanu will need time to adapt to life at the WTA Tour.
Emma Raducanu news: British No.1 snaps back at her critics
She’s feeling confident ahead of her Australian Open first round tie with Sloane Stephens.
Andy Murray news: Former coach predicts what the Scot can achieve in 2022
Corretja told Tennis365 that the 34-year-old can make a big impact this year despite his enduring fitness issues.
Novak Djokovic news: Rafa Nadal believes the Aus Open is more important than any player
The Spaniard thinks it’ll be a great tournament whether his rival plays or not.
Andy Murray news: Scot breaks down in tears after losing Sydney final
Murray broke down in tears as he mentioned his family in a post-match interview after his comprehensive defeat in Sydney.