Flaunting fate at last weekend’s Adria Cup exhibition has paid off nicely for Dominic Thiem, with the world No. 3 testing negative for COVID-19 in Austria after his return from Belgrade.

The Novak Djokovic-sponsored Cup danced close to the line, with social distancing just a memory in the Balkan nation which appears to have gotten away with just a few hundred virus deaths.

Several thousand spectators were in attendance and ball kids scampered around the court just like the “old days” of early 2020.

A boy’s night outing in the Old Town for ATP players who also included Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov plus a wrapup party at a crowded disco seems to have done the three-time Grand Slam finalist no harm.lgrade.

Vienna’s Kronen Zeitung reported that Thiem received a clean bill of health this week, with his German physio Alex Stober also OK.  

THiem is back on court this week at the local Austrian Pro Series with a personal decision now looming after US Open officials bucked the trend and decided to hold their Grand Slam in late summer without fans and under strict player quarantine.

“I played some matches (before Belgrade) in Austria, but this event was different,” Thiem said. “We had high quality players and played in front of a huge crowd. It was my first time in Serbia and it was amazing. It was a perfect weekend.

“I’m happy with the level I played. I’ve been fully in practice for quite a while – I played seven matches in Austria. 

“But it’s something very different with the big crowd. You’re a little bit tight and you want to play better, because you’re not just playing for yourself, you also want to give the fans a good show.

“I had an amazing weekend. It was for a good cause, too, so it couldn’t be better.”

Thiem will travel to France at the weekend to play the second chapter of Patrick Mouratoglou’s Ultimate Tennis Showdown at hsi academy near Nice.


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