Dominic Thiem has hit out at critics who claim his US Open win was diminished by the absence of the Big Three from the tournament.
Thiem secured his first Grand Slam title in New York last last September, beating Alexander Zverev in a thrilling five-set final.
It was a tournament perhaps most notable for the absences of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, though.
Federer was injured, Nadal decided not to travel due to the coronavirus crisis, and Djokovic was disqualified before the quarterfinals for accidentally striking a line-judge with a spare ball.
Many have suggested that the absence of the Big Three have reduced the value of the title, but Thiem fiercely disagrees.
“Nobody knows if I would have won it, but, well, I have the title and that’s all that counts," he said.
"Of course, the Big Three is the Big Three but there was also a time before them and nobody asks if Grand Slam titles were worth more or less back then and the same applies now.
"A Grand Slam title is always worth the same, so there is really no need to even think about it.
"After all, my name is on the trophy and it always will be. It doesn’t really matter who I beat and who was or wasn’t there.”
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