Dominic Thiem recently took to his official website to confirm that he has withdrawn from the 2021 Serbia Open due to a knee injury. Thiem thus joins Gael Monfils, Stan Wawrinka and Borna Coric as the top 30 players who will be skipping the 250-level tournament despite initially putting their names on the entry list.
Thiem wrote in his statement that he will not be traveling to Belgrade, where the Serbia Open is scheduled to kick off from 19 April. The Austrian revealed that he was suffering from a knee niggle, for which he needed some more time off the court.
"Unfortunately I will have to cancel my start at next week’s tournament," Dominic Thiem wrote. "My knee hurts and I went to see a doctor."
Dominic Thiem did mention that the knee wasn't a 'big issue', but in the same breath added that he wasn't in good enough shape to begin his European clay swing just yet.
"It is not a big issue but I need to take care of it. I am definitely not fit enough to play next week," Thiem added.
Thiem also claimed he was really looking forward to the Serbia Open before the knee problem sprang up, and expressed hope that he could play the Belgrade event in 2022.
"The big goal till the summer is the French Open, in Paris I must be at my best" - Dominic Thiem
Dominic Thiem last played a professional match a month ago, having earlier pulled out of the Monte Carlo Masters due to a variety of reasons. Now with this new knee setback, many are skeptical about how and when the Austrian's clay season will get on track.
Thiem did assert in his blog post, however, that he will be playing the Madrid Masters (which begins on 2 May). He also revealed that there were some positives in his life as coach Nicolas Massu, who had contracted COVID-19 recently, had been cleared to join the 27-year-old in his practice sessions.
"This will delay my return to the ATP Tour to Madrid," Thiem wrote. "No later than that do I want to be completely fit at the beginning of May and play proper tennis. There is something positive, though: Coach Nicolas Massu arrived in Austria yesterday, we are going to continue my program even though at the moment we have to be careful."
Thiem went on to state that he had been working on his fitness with sports scientist Mike Reinprecht, before claiming that a successful campaign at this year's Roland Garros was his biggest goal for the summer.
"In the meantime I have also been working on my physical fitness with sports scientist Mike Reinprecht," Thiem added. "There is no doubt, the big goal till the summer are the French Open – in Paris I must be at my best."