Dominic Thiem will abandon an upcoming title defence in Barcelona to cast his lot in with Novak Djokovic’s new Belgrade event.
The US Open champion who has had a tough start to the season with an Australian Open fourth round, a Doha quarter-final and a first round defeat last week as top seed in Dubai, is concentrating his immediate efforts on the switch to clay.
Djokovic’s family-run new 250 event in the Serbian capital has managed to lure the Austrian away from Barca for the inaugural edition which begins the week of April 19.
Nadal will have one less rival to deal with due to the desertion by Thiem, who won the 2019 title over Daniil Medvedev and lost to Nadal in the title match two years earlier.
Joining Thiem and Djokovic in Belgrade will be Matteo Berrettini, Gael Monfils and Stan Wawrinka.
Main photo:-Dominic Thiem will join Novak Djokovic in Belgrade in April. They were Melbourne Finalists in 2020 – by Anne Parker ISF Ltd