‘I won’t back down from my opinion’ – Dominic Thiem standing by controversial relief fund comments

Dominic Thiem after semi-final win

Dominic Thiem is refusing to back down over his dismissal of the relief fund intended to provide financial relief for lower-ranked players hit by the coronavirus lockdown.

The Austrian caused controversy when he told Krone Sport that he didn’t believe many players were worthy of his support due to a lack of professionalism.

Many players, such as Nick Kyrgios, has criticised Thiem for his stance, but he is standing by his opinion.

“There are just a few things that bother me about the whole thing,” Thiem told Sky Sport Austria.

“I don’t want to back down from my opinion that there are some players I don’t want to support.

“I’d much prefer it to be chosen by the players themselves because then those players who really need it and who really deserve it will benefit.

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“What I said came across as a bit strong. I didn’t say it so strongly.

“There’ll always be people, animals, organisations who need support much more urgently than probably every single athlete.”

Thiem also updated fans over his return to training, which was sanctioned by the government last week, but he says it was tougher than he expected.

“I couldn’t believe what sore muscles I had the day after,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that a movement you’ve done practically all your life could cause so much pain the next day or the day after.”

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