"This year whole draw is unreal" - Thiem on his title defence in Vienna

Dominic Thiem will be defending the title at the 2020 Erste Bank Open in Vienna, but he will have a really difficult mission this year.

After winning the title in Vienna last year, the home-crowd favourite, Dominic Thiem will have a difficult task to defend the title in 2020. The very strong field of the ATP 500 event was joined by the world number 1, Novak Djokovic and so the Austrian's mission became even more difficult.

“It’s always special to start as a defending champion at a tournament, but this year is unreal, the whole draw,” Thiem said. “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.”

“I would say of course after the US Open that’s still the biggest title of my career,” Thiem said. “[It is] probably one of the most emotional ones as well because I’ve been here since I was a four or five-year-old kid every year as a spectator who didn’t understand tennis, then as a spectator who was super interested in tennis.

"From one year to another all of a sudden [I was] a player qualifying then [in the] main draw with a wild card, main draw directly, first time seeded. Everything that can happen in a tennis career happened here in Vienna for me and then to win the title in 2019, a childhood dream came true.”

“I think back almost every day to that because every match was sold out, [it was a] tremendous atmosphere,” Thiem said. “Three of the five matches were three-setters, [it was] really dramatic as well.”

“I feel pretty good again. It was a pretty short period in between the US Open and French Open, but I handled it well. I gave everything I had. Obviously I was completely done after the French Open, so I took off a week where I did nothing and I also had to still reflect on the US Open title,” Thiem said. “Then [I] set myself new goals, of course looking forward to the tournament in Vienna, which every year [has been] a special highlight since I [was] a young kid, since I played here for the first time.”

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