World No.1 Novak Djokovic will compete at the Vienna Open for the first time since 2007. Interestingly, he lifted the title at Vienna in his last appearance by defeating Stan Wawrinka in the final. Djokovic has pulled out of Paris Masters as the defending champion won’t be able to gain any points.
During a pre-tournament interview, the journalist asked Djokovic the reason behind his decision to make a comeback at the Vienna Open this year. The 17-time Grand Slam champion talked about the rich tennis tradition in Vienna and attributed its success to former World No.1 Thomas Muster and the reigning US Open champion, Dominic Thiem.
“It has been 13 years since my last visit to Vienna which was obviously a great memory, a very successful week, winning the tournament. Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, A city that is part of a country with nurtures sports, especially tennis tradition. A big credit for that goes to Thomas Muster who was number one in the world and Dominic Thiem now, Grand Slam champion. There are other successful Austrian players who contributed to the popularity of the sport,” said Djokovic.
The Serbian mentioned that his primary aim is to gain as many ranking points as possible to secure the year-end No.1 spot for a record sixth time in his career. Djokovic has explicitly expressed his desire to achieve his two most important professional goals – spend the most number of weeks at World No.1 ranking and win the highest number of Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic will square off against fellow countryman, Filip Krajinovic, in the opening round of the ATP 500 competition. The duo has played twice against each other, with the rivalry at 1-1. They last played at the Round-of-16 at the Italian Open this year, which Djokovic won in straight sets.
Seeded No.1, Djokovic has a tough draw en route to the final and might face the defending champion, Dominic Thiem, in the finals.