The Adria Tour, organized by Novak Djokovic in Belgrade, ended up being remembered for all the wrong reasons. However, it was a highly competitive event that Dominic Thiem won, beating Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the final before the controversy erupted. Djokovic recently gave Thiem his prize for winning the tournament.
In a blog post on his website, Thiem said that Djokovic brought along the Austrian’s prize money cheque from the Adria Tour. The two men are the top two seeds for the ongoing Erste Bank Open 2020 in Thiem’s favorite city, Vienna.
“I have a special picture with Novak Djokovic. The current number one in the world had my prize money check from Belgrade in his baggage,” Thiem wrote.
In a wonderful gesture, Thiem decided to donate the entire sum to a children’s hospital in Vienna. “I will donate the entire money to the St. Anna Children’s Hospital and good friend of mine,” Thiem wrote further.
Earlier, Thiem indicated that Djokovic’s addition to the draw in Vienna made an already tough draw ‘unreal’. The 2020 draw is one of the toughest for an ATP 500 event, with six of the top-10 players in contention.
“It’s always special to start as a defending champion at a tournament. But this year is unreal, the whole draw. It was strong and then Novak arrived and it got unreal even [more],” Thiem said.
In Thiem’s blog post, the 2019 champion reiterated his emotions about playing in a home ATP event. He said that when he visited the events as a kid, he cheered for former top Austrian players Stefan Koubek and Jurgen Melzer.
As an 18-year-old, Thiem defeated former world number one Thomas Muster, which was also his first win on the ATP Tour. He then won the event for the first time in 2019.
“I will never forget the emotions after my victory in 2019 – wonderful and unique. It was a moment of goosebumps! This trophy means a lot to me, so does Vienna,” Thiem said on the same. “This 500-tournament has never seen so many top players before, I will play Kei Nishikori in the first round. This tells it all.”
Thiem plays Nishikori on Tuesday and could face Stan Wawrinka in the next round. A quarter-final tie against the in-form Russian Andrey Rublev is on the cards before a US Open 2020 rematch against Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals. A blockbuster final between Thiem and Djokovic is highly anticipated.