Austria's Dominic Thiem says winning the US Open was something amazing but saving our planet is more important. "Winning the US Open is obviously something amazing, but it's pretty personal and you cannot even compare it because protecting the oceans, protecting the environment, and the whole future of the planet," Thiem said at the Kosmos Sports Summit.
"If I can make a little difference to that it would be a success of a lifetime because it's so much more important than any personal success."
Thiem wants to save the oceans
"Maybe because I'm from Austria, where we have no sea, where we have no coastline, it's more special for me to visit the ocean, and the last two years when I got into the topic I started to learn that we all depend on the ocean so much and it doesn't matter have far we are away from it because it connects the whole planet.
"That is why for an Austrian, it's just as important for somebody who lives on the coast. "I was with the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) in the protected areas of the Balearic Islands, learning a lot about marine life, about plastic pollution, about all the threats and what we can do about it."
Thiem is one of the most popular tennis players in the world and he wants to use his position to raise the awareness of the importance of saving our plant. "Sport is such a huge stage with the biggest athletes in the world having a big fan base.
To take care of the planet and to turn things around, the time is now. "We don't have any time to do that so I think it's super important now for athletes to go in this direction and I think it could make a pretty big difference."
Thiem, who sustained a season-ending wrist injury in June, is expected to return to action next month at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships. Thiem also revealed that he is vaccinated and that he is planning to play the Australian Open.