Defending Champion Dominic Thiem Skips ATP Barcelona, Joins Novak Djokovic at Serbian Open 2021

Published 03/23/2021, 7:43 AM EDT
Dominic Thiem of Austria embraces Novak Djokovic of Serbia following victory in their mens singles semi-final match during Day fourteen of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on June 08, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Austrian World No. 4 Dominic Thiem has put the tennis world in a spot of worry with his underperformance in 2021. However, he is consistently figuring out ways to find his balance and rhythm on the court again. Probably for the same reason, the 27-year-old has replaced ATP 500 in Barcelona with the ATP 250 in Belgrade.

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It comes as a big surprise as the reigning US Open champion has had a history of success in Barcelona. Most importantly, he was the defending champion but has now withdrawn from his title defense.

Both the Serbian Open and Barcelona Open will run on the same schedule, from April 19 to April 25. Many top players are signing up to play in Belgrade this year.

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Thiem to join Djokovic, Berrettini, and Monfils in Belgrade

The Serbian Open 2021 has a great lineup so far, starting with hometown star Novak Djokovic. Now, Dominic Thiem has joined the party in Belgrade with the World No. 1 player.

PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 04: Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates after winning match point during his Men’s Singles fourth round match against Hugo Gaston of France on day eight of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on October 04, 2020, in Paris, France. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Additionally, Italian World No. 10 Matteo Berrettini and French World No. 12 Gael Monfils have also confirmed their participation. The three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, Borna Coric, Dusan Lajovic, and Aslan Karatsev are also on the entry list.

Interestingly, the tournament had once been replaced in 2013 by the Power Horse Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany. It is now making a comeback after all those years, replacing the Hungarian Open.

It will be a vital tournament for players preparing for the clay season finale at the French Open. Before traveling to Serbia, players will compete at the Monte-Carlo Masters, Monaco.

For preparations for the clay season, all the four mentioned players have withdrawn from the Miami Open. Meanwhile, the ‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal has declared an extensive clay schedule to dominate Roland-Garros for a record-extending fourteenth time.

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What are the chances of Dominic Thiem winning the French Open?

Over the years, Thiem has developed into one of the best clay-court players in the world but has lost two consecutive finals in Ronald-Garros to Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal (R) of Spain and Dominic Thiem (L) of Austria poses prior to the men’s singles final match at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France on June 09, 2019. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

But to win the Barcelona Open in 2019, Thiem had defeated the Spaniard in the semifinal and Russian World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the final. Therefore, this shows that he can clinch the prestigious clay title in Paris.

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However, time will tell whether the revision in his calendar will benefit him or not. Can Thiem win the 2021 French Open? Look at his iconic performance against Djokovic at Roland-Garros in 2019 before you make up your mind. For regular updates on Serbia Open, you can visit the tournament’s official Instagram and Twitter handles.

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Purav Joshi

681 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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