World No. 3 Dominic Thiem thinks Nick Kyrgios is "totally unique" and he enjoyed a night out with the Australian in Acapulco few years ago. Kyrgios has been one of the most criticized players since arriving to the Tour but Thiem insists the Australian is a nice person.
"He is distinctive, you cannot replace him, he is totally unique! Tennis should be happy to have such a person," Thiem said of Kyrgios in a question & answer session posted in his website. "This sport hasn’t seen anyone like him before and probably never will.
People either hate him or they love him. Deep in his soul he is a very nice person. Some years ago we discovered the Acapulco night life together, that was awesome!" Last year, Thiem fell just short of winning his maiden Nitto ATP Finals as he was edged out by Stefanos Tsitsipas in a tight final at The O2 Arena.
"He has had a tremendous improvement! He came, he saw, he conquered. Stefanos has established himself quickly, plays attractive and uncompromisingly aggressive tennis. People like his way of playing, a young go-getter. We will surely play some thrilling matches against each other," Thiem said of Tsitsipas.
Thiem also praised Italy's Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini
"His dream season in 2019 peaked at the Masters. Matteo had a couple of extremely tough matches, he can enthuse the crowd. In Italy in particular! The Italians are highly interested in sports, tennis is highly appreciated.
That’s why it is so important that leaders like Berrettini excite the fans," Thiem said of Berrettini. Fognini, who claimed his maiden Masters title in Monte Carlo last year, is one of the most talented players on the Tour, according to Thiem.
"I think Fabio is one of the most talented players, he has a great potential of entertainment. He excites by his theatrics on court. With him you never know what is yet to come. He has an extremely quick hand, we had some practice sessions together and we really get along well," Thiem said of Fognini.
Thiem also spoke about Davis Goffin, who he described as a calm and good natured guy. "He is very calm guy, friendly, good natured," Thiem said of Goffin. "And he is a really tough opponent because he doesn’t give me a lot of time.
He remains so close to the baseline, hits the balls extremely early and places them well. I will never forget one match: in 2016 I defeated him at the quarterfinals of Roland Garros and managed to break through into the top 10 for the first time. That’s something you’ll never forget!"