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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday October 25 2020

 
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic and Djokovic take their places at opposite ends of the stacked Vienna draw.

Photo Source: Erste Bank Open

This week’s Erste Bank Open in Vienna features six Top 10 players, including World No.1 Novak Djokovic and defending champion Dominic Thiem.

Tennis Express

With limited playing opportunities this fall, players have flocked to Vienna, and it should make for an exciting week in Austria.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman have also joined, with World No.11 Gael Monfils and World No.12 Denis Shapovalov rounding out the top eight seeds.

Djokovic, who announced last week that he’d be skipping Paris (Nov.1-8) and playing Vienna in order to focus on picking up precious ranking points to continue his assault on the ATP record books, says he’s thrilled to be a part of such a stacked draw. The 2007 Vienna champion will meet compatriot Filip Krajinovic in the first round.


“It’s going to be a great challenge,” Djokovic said at the draw ceremony on Saturday. “Probably one of the strongest 500 category draws that I was ever a part of. It’s amazing to see six Top 10 guys here, and you can play first round someone that is literally ranked 15 in the world.”

Thiem, who will face Kei Nishikori in his opening-round tilt, says it is an honor to be back on home soil at the scene of one of his biggest titles and the venue where he played his first ATP-level match in 2011.

“It’s always special to start as a defending champion of a tournament. This year is unreal, the whole draw,” Thiem said. “It was strong and then Novak arrived and it got unreal even. Probably the best 500 tournament ever, so defending the title is not mission impossible, but almost.”

Thiem was just 18 when he won his first ATP match at Vienna in 2011, which also marked the close of Thomas Muster’s career. Then, Muster was the only Grand Slam singles champion from Austria, now it’s an honor that the two share after Thiem took the title at this year’s US Open.

Last year, Thiem defeated Diego Schwartzman for his first title at Vienna, and become the first home talent to take the title since Jurgen Melzer in 2010.

“Everything that can happen in a tennis career, happened here in Vienna with me and of course to win the title in 2019, a childhood dream came true,” he said.

View the full Erste Bank Open draw here:

 

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