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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem says if the US Open is contested as scheduled, he'll play.

Photo credit: @ChinaOpen

Count Dominic Thiem in the Flushing Meadows field.

Thiem told CNN Sport's Patrick Snell if the US Open plays as scheduled starting on August 31st, he will be there.

More: Citi Open Cancels

The three-time Grand Slam finalist reiterated remarks he made in Berlin last weekend: he's all in on the Open if it's contested as planned.

"If [the US Open is] going to happen, I’m very sure that it’s safe and that I’m also going to play," Thiem told CNN Sport. "Because I guess it’s time that the normal Tour is coming back."

Tennis Express

The Citi Open in Washington, DC officially cancelled yesterday.

However, the USTA said in a statement it is committed to hosting the Western & Southern Open and US Open in succession—without fans or media—in a safety bubble at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center next month.

The third-ranked Thiem came within one set of capturing his first career Grand Slam title before bowing to Novak Djokovic in a gripping five-set Australian Open final in February.

The defending champion survived a storm of shot-making from Thiem and mid-match dizziness fighting back for a 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph to capture his 17th career Grand Slam championship in Melbourne.

World No. 1 players Djokovic and Ash Barty, reigning US Open champion Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon winner Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and Elina Svitolina are among the players who have expressed concern about traveling to New York City amid this Coronavirus climate—and the potential for facing a quarantine or travel ban after leaving the United States and returning to Europe for the planned clay-court season starting in Madrid the day after the US Open ends.

Twenty-three time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, sister Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, Karolina Pliskova, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Thiem are among the players who have said they plan to play the Flushing Meadows major.


Thank you Berlin . . . . . 📷 Paul Zimmer

A post shared by Dominic Thiem (@domithiem) on

US Open tournament director Stacey Allaster said last month the USTA will extend entry deadline until about two weeks before the Open begins to permit players time to assess the situation and reach a final decision.

The 26-year-old Thiem was one of several players hit with criticism for reckless behavior on the Djokovic-led Adria Tour. Thiem defended Djokovic, who has been hit with stiff criticism from several players, including Nick Kyrgios, who say the ATP Player Council president should be leading by example.

Kyrgios called it "a boneheaded decision" for the Adria Tour to operate without social distancing or players wearing masks amid the Coronavirus. Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov, Viktor Troicki and Djokovic each tested postive for COVID-19 in the aftermath.

Thiem countered Djokovic's intentions with the charity exhibition series were good and all of the players who competed on the Adria Tour must take responsibility for their actions.

“It was unfair to him because he didn’t break any law and he didn’t force us to play,” Thiem told CNN Sport. "[Djokovic] didn’t force any player to come there. He didn’t force any player to interact with the fans. It was our own decision. The whole event was for a very good cause as well.” 

The Austrian also took a subtle shot at Kyrgios' critical comments telling CNN Sport "certain comments, especially from Australia, are very unnecessary."

Still, the two-time Roland Garros runner-up concedes players made obvious mistakes in disregarding social distancing rules and basic safety protocol.

“It was obviously a mistake from everybody but it’s a long time ago now really and everybody who got positive there is healthy again, which is a very good sign as well," Thiem told CNN Sport.


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