Novak Djokovic is currently preparing for the Serbia Open and ahead of his first match he had an interaction with the media. He was asked about Dominic Thiem’s withdrawal due to injuries and motivational issues.
The World No. 1 also feels that it is a big loss for the event that a player of Thiem’s calibre won’t be playing. He revealed that the Austrian was excited to play and now it is just sad that we won’t get that chance. Djokovic feels that it is not good for tennis to see Thiem spending more time on the sidelines than being on the court.
“It’s definitely a big loss for our tournament to not have Dominic here, sorry to hear that he’s been dealing with a knee injury,” Djokovic said. “The tennis world needs him because he’s a Grand Slam champion and one of the top players of the world, a big star. He’s also a nice guy, he played in the Adria Tour last year and he won the tournament in front of Belgrade people. He was excited to come back so it’s unfortunate he’s not here.”
The Serb has extended his support to Thiem who is dealing with mental health issues and also explained the challenges that tennis players are going through in bio bubbles. He said, “On the mental side of it, obviously I’ve heard that he is struggling with how he is feeling, he’s a bit exhausted with the restrictions in the bubble life on the tour. Well, I understand what he’s been going through because we all go through that.”
“I think most of the players on the tour are experiencing some of the mental issues and motivational issues,” Djokovic added. “Playing in front of empty stands, travelling and not being able to go out of their hotel room. Just being restricted to the tennis courts and the hotel.”
Djokovic himself has also not been in good form of late as he was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters last week. After winning the first round against Italian prodigy Jannik Sinner the Serbian superstar shockingly suffered a defeat against United Kingdom’s Daniel Evans. He will now look to improve on it at the 2021 Serbia Open as he takes on Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea in the first round.