Defending US Open champion Dominic Thiem took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce that he will not be able to return to action this season due to a wrist injury. Thiem revealed that he does not want to rush his return to the tour as his wrist has not yet fully recovered.
This means the Austrian will not be able to defend his US Open crown. He will also miss the rest of the events scheduled to take place this year.
Thiem sustained a wrist injury at the Mallorca Championships in June. Upon closer medical inspection, it was revealed that Thiem had pulled the tendons on the ulnar side of his right wrist. The Austrian was then advised to wear a splint for five weeks, the duration doctors believed it would take his wrist to heal.
Thiem recently stopped wearing his splint and even hit a few balls on the practice court, leading many to believe he could make a comeback soon. However, the Austrian shot down that possibility by revealing that he is yet to fully recover from his injury.
The 27-year-old took to Twitter to express his disappointment at not being able to defend his US Open title.
"Hey everybody! I hope you are all doing well! I want to update you on my injury and let you know that unfortunately, I've had to withdraw from the US Open and will miss the rest of the 2021 season," Thiem wrote. "I'm really disappointed not to be able to defend the title in New York but I haven't recovered from the wrist injury I suffered back in June at the Mallorca Open."
Thiem explained that he had been following all the medical protocols during his period of recovery. But the Austrian added that he felt "some pain" in his wrist when he tried to hit some balls during training last week.
"The past six weeks, I've been following the medical advice, wearing the wrist splint, doing exercise to stay in shape before starting to train back on court," Thiem added. "My recovery was going really well, but then last week I hit a ball during training and started to feel some pain again."
Thiem confirmed that additional tests had been conducted, with doctors coming to a conclusion that his wrist needed more time to heal.
"I went straight to see the doctors," the Austrian added. "After some tests, they said that my wrist needs more time, so we've all agreed on being conservative and to give my wrist some time to recover."
On the bright side, Thiem said he aims to resume racket training in a couple of weeks.
"I'll wear the wrist splint for a couple more weeks before starting with exercises and then training with the racquet again," Thiem wrote.
"I have a long career ahead of me, and it's important not to take risks" - Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem, who will turn 28 in a couple of weeks, said the decision to end his season did not come easily. But the Austrian insisted it was necessary in order to preserve his body in the long run.
"It has been a tough decision to make but I know this is what I have to do," Dominic Thiem said. "I have a long career ahead of me and it's important not to take risks and rush back-which I hope you understand."
Thiem then expressed his gratitude to all those who have stood by him during this challenging period. The Austrian also revealed that he plans to use this time away from the sport by focussing on several environmental causes that he is committed to.
"I want to thank you all for the support that you have given me so far," Thiem continued. "It really means a lot to me and gives me a lot of strength and helps me stay positive in this difficult time."
"I will use this time where I am not competing to stay in shape and put more focus on causes I'm very committed to, such as sustainability, especially ocean conservation and nature," added the Austrian. "I will keep you updated on my progress. Take care and I can't wait to be back on court!"