KITZBÜHEL, March 31, 2016
Due to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and a fully packed ATP calendar this year, Dominic Thiem had to decide which tournament he going to play the week of 18 July with three ATP 250 events in Kitzbühel, Umag and Gstaad taking place at the same time.
This is actually not a big deal for a professional tennis player, but for the 22-year-old Austrian, it might have been a more difficult choice than usual. Thiem is the defending champion of the Konzum Croatia Open in Umag, where he captured his second ATP tour title, as well as the J. Safran Swiss Open in Gstaad, where he emerged victorious the following week last year. In 2016, however, he will prefer playing in his home country.
“I am going to play in Kitzbühel for sure. I do want to the win the chamois,” Thiem told with regard to the trophy of the Generali Open. He finished runner-up in 2014, losing the final to David Goffin and reached the semis last year.
Tennis has a long history in Kitzbühel. Already in the 19th century English guests brought the white sport to the small medieval town. In 1889, the first tennis competition took place. Since 1945 until today, it has been a lasting competition with different names through the years (Alpenländerpokal, Head Cup. Generali Open, Austrian Open). This year the 72nd edition will be held in front of the magnificent backdrop of the Kitzbühel Alps.
“I think that I will also play in Vienna,” the promising Austrian youngster added. “The last two years, I didn’t play well here, so it’s time to do a good job.” Thiem did not survive the opening round at the Stadthalle in 2014 and 2015.
“Playing at home is simply awesome and the atmosphere is completely different than at our tournaments!” There is no doubt that he will get the support he needs and maybe 2016 will be the year to take his first home crown.