'We forgot': Dominic Thiem's unusual excuse for Adria Tour 'mistake'

Dominic Thiem (pictured left) and Novak Djokovic (pictured right) embracing and posing for photos.
Dominic Thiem (pictured left) and Novak Djokovic (pictured right) posing for photographers during the 3rd day of Summer Adria Tour. (Photo by Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images)

World No.3 Dominic Thiem has continued his defence of the Adria Tour and said players ‘forgot’ to keep their social distance when interacting with fans and the excited children during the ill-fated event.

Thiem initially defended the Adria Tour hosted by Novak Djokovic and described Nick Kyrgios' criticism of those who took part as "unnecessary".

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Thiem played in the Belgrade leg of the ill-fated tournament organised by the World No.1 where Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all tested positive for COVID-19.

Djokovic claimed the criticism had become a ‘witch-hunt’ and Thiem has once again jumped in to defend the World No.1.

"It was unfair to him because he didn't break any law and he didn't force us," Thiem told CNN Sport.

"It was our own decision. The whole event was for a very good cause as well."

But Thiem said the lack of social-distancing that took place was due to player excitement, which was a ‘mistake’.

"It was obviously a mistake from everybody but it's a long time ago now really and everybody who got positive there is healthy again, which is a very good sign as well," he added.

“In reality, we saw happy fans, we saw happy kids and then we kind of forgot to keep the distance, to not take pictures, to not hug the kids and it was a mistake.”

Thiem hits back at Kyrgios’ criticism

Kyrgios has been highly critical of anyone who played in the Adria Tour, which he branded a "boneheaded decision" to hold with such little regard for hygiene.

The out-spoken Australian then branded Alexander Zverev "selfish" for partying despite promising to self-isolate following a negative test after playing on the Adria Tour.

Thiem and Kyrgios traded insults last week on social media over Zverev's behaviour.

Dominic Thiem (Front L) celebrates by raising the trophy after winning the final match against Filip Krajinovic.
Dominic Thiem (Front L) celebrates by raising the trophy after winning the final match against Filip Krajinovic. (Photo by Milos Miskov/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Kyrgios and Zverev have pulled out of the Berlin event, which started on Monday amid strict hygiene guidelines with organisers promising "there will be no player parties here".

Zverev said he skipped Berlin to train more, while Kyrgios pulled out amid travel concerns from Australia where the pandemic has worsened with Melbourne back in lockdown.

"The subject is done, Sascha (Zverev) had his reasons for not coming," said Thiem, who took another dig at Kyrgios.

"Certain opinions, especially from Australia, are very unnecessary," he added.