Dominic Thiem is Austria's Sportsman of the Year
Big honor for Dominic Thiem : The world number three was voted Austria's athlete of the year for the first time on Tuesday evening.
by Michael Rothschädl
last edit: Nov 10, 2020, 09:57 pm
Dominic Thiem is Austria's Sportsman of the Year for the first time in his career. This was announced on Tuesday evening as part of the lottery sports aid gala. The reigning US Open winner prevailed against his toughest competitor David Alaba , who won the triple with FC Bayern Munich last season. After the Lichtenwörther had to settle for second place three times and third place twice since 2015, the 27-year-old secured the prestigious award in 2020, which was named in honor of Formula 1 legend Niki Lauda, who died last year.
It is only the fourth time in the history of the award, which has been awarded since 1949, that a tennis player can secure this award. This was the first time Thomas Muster succeeded, who was named Austria's Sportsman of the Year in 1990 and 1995, although he was only supposed to achieve his career highlight after winning the French Open in 1996. In 2010 Jürgen Melzer also managed this feat, the year in which the German-Wagramer sensationally reached the semi-finals of the French Open and since then has been the only player who was able to defeat Novak Djokovic after a 2-0 set deficit in a Grand Slam. Otherwise, the winners in the election for Sportsman of the Year in Austria are traditionally shaped by skiers. Most recently, record laureate Marcel Hirscher won five awards in a row.
Thiem with Grand Slam final and victory
The world number three celebrated the greatest success of his career in the current season, winning his first Grand Slam title when he played Alexander Zverev in New York City after moving into the final of the Australian Open and advancing to third place in the world rankings in late summer a dramatic endgame in the tie-break of the fifth deciding set. Most recently, however, fitness again caused one or the other problem for the Lichtenwörther, so he had to fight visibly with the exertions of the past weeks around the US Open triumph in the quarter-finals of the French Open, in which he was defeated by Diego Schwartzman in five sets and was affected by a persistent blister on the ball of the foot at the home tournament in Vienna.
Now the 27-year-old is in top shape again, as he recently explained, and is traveling with big goals to the ATP finals in London, where the tennis year traditionally ends with the big season finale of the best eight players of the season. Last year, the Austrian played big in Great Britain, defeating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the group stage in an impressive manner and should only fail in the final against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Also this year, the man from Lower Austria is entering the race as a co-favorite, although the competition from the younger generation with Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and debutants Andrey Rublev is strong and of course the great dominators of tennis in recent years in the person of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic insist on the title. Roger Federer will be absent due to an injury in 2020, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Diego Schwartzman complete the field.