Dominic Thiem has pulled out of next month’s Australian Open because of a wrist injury, the former world No. 3 said on Tuesday. The Austrian, who has not played since suffering the injury at the Mallorca Open in June, was unable to defend his US Open title this year. Thiem, who has slipped to 15th in the rankings, reached the final at Melbourne Park last year before going on to win his maiden major title at Flushing Meadows.
— Dominic Thiem (@ThiemDomi) December 19, 2021
The 28-year-old also informed via Twitter that he will start the season in South America at the Cordoba Open in Argentina, at the end of January. “As you all know, I came back home to Austria to recover after the hard practice sessions I had in Dubai and the slight set back in my preparation. I am now feeling well again, my wrist is in optimal conditions and I am practicing normally with a very good intensity.”
“After the short holidays, my team and I have assessed all matters and we have decided to make some changes to my initial tournament schedule: I will start the season in South America at the Cordoba Open in Argentina, end of January, and therefore I will not play this year at the Australian Open in Melbourne, a city that I love and where I have great memories of unforgettable matches in front of amazing crowds. I will miss the Australian fans but I will be back in 2023,” the statement added.
Thiem had suffered a detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of his right wrist, and has missed the ATP Cup and Sydney Tennis Classic, an ATP 250 event. He was due to lead Austria at the third edition of the ATP Cup and the country remains in the ATP Cup despite Thiem’s injury.
Meanwhile, the uncertainity regarding Novak Djokovic’s participation in the first Grand Slam of the year deepens after his arrival in Melbourne. There were serious doubts whether the 20-time Grand Slam champion would travel to Australia, having refused to confirm if he has been vaccinated for coronavirus.
Tennis Australia has told AFP that the Serbian hasn’t pulled out of the ATP Cup due to start on Saturday in Sydney and he is drawn to play Norwegian Casper Ruud on the opening day.
Nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic would be aiming to win his record 21st Grand Slam title if he plays at Melbourne Park. But to take part in the tournament, he and his members of the entourage need to be vaccinated.
The 34-year-old had previously expressed his opposition to the vaccine and his father Srdjan said in late November that Djokovic would probably not play the Australian Open.