Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - February 12: Dominic Thiem of Austria at the Australian Open on February 12, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia (Photo by Peter Staples/ATP Tour)
March 4 2021 – Dubai, UAE: Dominic Thiem will bid to become the first Austrian since Thomas Muster in 1997 to lift the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Trophy when the tournament gets underway in just a few days from now.
The reigning US Open champion will be the top seed and he will hope to emulate his legendary countryman, who overcame Goran Ivanisevic in a thrilling finale to claim the title. Since then no other player from Austria, man or woman, has managed to land the coveted prize.
Thiem, who as well as defeating Alexander Zverev to win the 2020 US Open reached the final of both the 2018 and 2019 French Opens and the 2020 Australian Open, also reached the final of the ATP Tour Finals in the past two seasons. But he has some catching up to do in Dubai, where in only his previous appearance in 2015 he fell in the first round to Roberto Bautista Agut.
“Dominic Thiem has already proven that he is worthy to be named alongside Thomas Muster as one of the greatest tennis players that Austria has produced,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “His results, particularly over the past two seasons, have often been spectacular, and we very much look forward to welcoming him back to Dubai.”
Thiem will certainly provide excitement as well as showcase the skills that have seen him achieve outstanding results against the very best in the game. His US Open triumph was full of drama as he fought his way back from two sets down to claim his 17th career title in a fifth tie-break. He was the first player to win the US Open in a final set tie-break, the first to win there from two sets down since Pancho Gonzales in 1949, and the first to win any Grand Slam from two sets down since Gaston Gaudio at the 2004 French Open.
Having come so close to claiming his maiden Grand Slam crown three times before, the victory was a lifetime ambition and was a huge relief to him.
“Yeah, definitely I achieved a life goal, a dream for myself, which I had for many, many years,” he said after the final. “Of course, as a kid when I started to play tennis, back then it’s so far away. Then I got closer and closer to the top. At one point I realised that, ‘Wow, maybe one day I can really win one of the four biggest titles in tennis’. I put a lot of work in. I dedicated basically my whole life until this point to win one of the four majors. Now I did it. That’s also for myself a great accomplishment.”
Thiem’s chase for the title starts on 14th March and will follow the star-studded WTA1000 week which begins on 7th March and will feature defending champion Simona Halep, former Dubai winners Petra Kvitova, Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic, 2020 US Open runner-up and WTA Comeback Player of the Year Victoria Azarenka, 2021 Abu Dhabi winner Aryna Sabalenka, 2020 French Open and 2021 Adelaide champion Iga Swiatek, former two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza and Tunisian sensation Ons Jabeur.
“Excitement is mounting as we come closer and closer to two weeks of great tennis that is certain to produce many thrills and upsets,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “Dominic Thiem is such an exciting player to watch and will definitely start as one of the favourites for the title, but success is never guaranteed and he faces a formidable challenge.”
Thiem will be in competition for the title against five-time 2020 title-winner and world number eight Andrey Rublev, 2021 ATP Cup finalist Matteo Berrettini, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, 2020 US Open quarter-finalist Denis Shapovalov, 2020 Dubai semi-finalist Gael Monfils, 2018 Dubai champion Roberto Bautista Agut, 2021 Montpellier winner David Goffin and 2020 US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.