‘Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic are still a small step above me’ says Thiem

World number three Dominic Thiem believes he has a strong team for the ATP Cup and a good chance of winning the Australian Open even if Nadal and Djokovic might have a slight edge.

The Austrian is currently in Adelaide under a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all players entering Australia ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year.

He will take part in an exhibition event on 29 January before returning to Melbourne for the ATP Cup team event 1 – 5 February and then the Australian Open starting on 8 February.

Thiem, who became a Grand Slam Champion for the first time in 2020 winning the US Open, will unfortunately be without main coach Nicolas Massu who tested positive for COVID before departing for Australia.

Instead, his father and trainer Wolfgang Thiem will be in his corner along with physio Alex Stober.

In a recent interview with ORF TV, Thiem was asked about his and his fellow competitors chances at the Australian Open.

“I still see Nadal and Djokovic a small step above Tsitsipas, Medvedev, Zverev and me, but of the six everyone has a good chance of winning that” Thiem said.

Prior to the Grand Slam, Thiem hopes to make an impact at the ATP Cup where he will lead Team Austria along with friend and training partner Dennis Novak, Philipp Oswald and Sam Weißborn.

“We definitely want to play well. I also think that we have good chances because we have a strong team” said Thiem.

”The team basically likes the ATP Cup, and it also has something to make up for from last year.

“Last year it was a bit bitter because I was also well prepared and then played two poor games. I hope to do better this year.”

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