Dominic Thiem defends Novak Djokovic after controversial Adria Tour

A number of stars, together with world No.1 Djokovic, examined constructive for Covid-19 after competing within the event, which attracted giant crowds and had restricted social distancing in place, with gamers hugging and high-fiving one another, enjoying basketball and dancing collectively.

Djokovic, who bore the brunt of the widespread backlash, has since apologized for his involvement in internet hosting the occasion within the Balkans, saying in a press release he was “deeply sorry our event had triggered hurt.”


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Fellow skilled Nick Kyrgios mentioned internet hosting the occasion was “boneheaded” and criticized different gamers, together with Thiem, for collaborating.

Regardless of now admitting the event — initially scheduled to be performed in 4 cities from June 13 by means of July 5 — was a mistake, Thiem says Djokovic was solely attempting to do one thing constructive.

“It was unfair to him as a result of he did not break any regulation and he did not power us,” Thiem informed CNN Sport’s Patrick Snell.

“He did not power any participant to come back there. He did not power any participant to work together with the followers.

“It was our personal choice. The entire occasion was for an excellent trigger as nicely.”

The tour had attracted three-time grand slam finalist Thiem, world No. 7 Alexander Zverev of Germany and three-time main semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, amongst others. Djokovic’s 24-year-old brother, Djordje, was named event director.

On June 21, it was introduced Dimitrov had examined constructive for coronavirus and organizers swiftly canceled the complete sequence. Troicki would later check constructive, as would Croatia’s Borna Coric, Djokovic, his spouse, Jelena, and others.

Thiem says the gamers received carried away with the joyous event which, on the time, checked out odds with the native authorities recommendation to remain one meter aside.

“It was clearly a mistake from everyone but it surely’s a very long time in the past now actually and everyone who received constructive there may be wholesome once more, which is an excellent signal as nicely,” he mentioned, earlier than including that everyone had realized from their errors.

“In actuality, we noticed glad followers, we noticed glad youngsters after which we type of forgot to maintain the gap, to not take footage, to not hug the children and it was a mistake.

“Everyone regrets it, after all, however I believe, on the identical time, it is tremendous now.”

READ: Kyrgios calls Becker a ‘doughnut’ after being labeled a ‘rat’
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US Open

Thiem lately performed in, and received, the Bett1Aces event in Berlin — an occasion which adhered to social distancing tips and was partly performed in an previous airport hanger.

He is now turned his focus to the US Open, which is because of happen behind closed doorways on the finish of August.

The Austrian says he has no issues about collaborating in New York and says the competitors in Berlin may be an instance of the right way to stage an occasion safely.

“If it may occur, I am very positive that it is protected and that I am additionally going to play as a result of I suppose it is time that the conventional tour is coming again,” he mentioned, admitting will probably be exhausting to play a grand slam with out thousand of followers within the stadium.

“It is robust to think about however, on the identical time, it’s how it’s and now we have to cope with it.

“I believe the primary factor is that the tour, and the tennis, slowly comes again.”

Numerous high-profile gamers have raised doubts about whether or not the US Open ought to go forward this 12 months however organizers are content material with the protection precautions in place.

They obtained a lift when Serena Williams confirmed she would play at Flushing Meadows and now sister Venus has expressed her want to be concerned.

“God prepared you will notice me in New York. Whether it is protected to play, I actually need to play the US Open,” Venus mentioned on her YouTube channel.
READ: ‘I completely skilled racism out and in of tennis,’ says former Wimbledon finalist

Coronavirus assist

Like many sports activities, tennis has been hit exhausting by the worldwide pandemic, with many occasions and tournaments canceled.

It has been significantly exhausting for these lower-ranked gamers who struggled to make a dwelling throughout lockdown.

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Djokovic, the president of the ATP Participant Council, had referred to as for gamers to contribute to a fund arrange by the sport’s governing our bodies however Thiem initially didn’t need to be concerned — believing his donations can be higher served elsewhere.

He has since clarified his feedback, saying that while he does assist lower-ranked and junior gamers, he desires to decide on who deserves his assist.

“What I mentioned is that there are guys on the Future Tour who will not be dwelling professionally,” he added.

“That is what I mentioned. And there are guys who do not deserve the assist and I am by no means going to vary my opinion.”

“There are lots of, many guys who deserve it and that is my opinion. However, nicely, the media again then put it mistaken and I hope that I can put it a little bit bit in the correct place now.”