ABU DHABI, December 29, 2017
Ahead of his first match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on Friday, Dominic Thiem met a couple of the youngest visitors at the Tennis Complex at Zayed Sports City.
“It’s not my first time here in Abu Dhabi,” the World No. 5 explained at the beginning of this very special Q&A session. “I have been here before and visited Ferrari World. The rollercoaster there is amazing. Really fast. If I have the chance over the next couple of days, I will return for a ride.”
Thiem, however, has not made it yet to the race track at Yas Marina Circuit. “But it is on the list,” said the Austrian, who spent Christmas at home. “I only had 11 days during the off-season, where I did not touch a racket. I had a very good preparation to the season, spending three weeks on the Canary Islands. On 25 December I eventually arrived in Abu Dhabi with some presents from my family.”
Thiem will make his debut at the MWTC this year, facing Kevin Anderson on Friday. “At the beginning of a tournament, I never think of winning it. I think it would be too cocky but I hope so.”
Asked about the toughest opponent to play against, Thiem said: “Novak Djokovic, when he was at his best. But it is also very hard to take on Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, in particular on clay. At this point, the fun stops. If Roger plays well, he will have the chance to make you looking bad on the court,” the 25-year-old told with a smile.
Thiem, who enjoys eating Sushi but spent Thursday night at Abu Dhabi’s famous Steakhouse Nusr-Et, could take on Roberto Bautista-Agut in Saturday’s final. The winner of the tournament will earn $250,000 in prize money.