Following a poor run in Doha and Dubai, Dominic Thiem took an extended break from competitive tennis. The Austrian decided to skip both the Miami Masters and the Madrid Masters, choosing instead to get back to the court at the Serbia Open towards the end of April.
Thiem has now issued an update on his website regarding his progress in training, claiming it will take him a little more time to regain peak match fitness.
"Everything went quite well, for the next couple of days I‘ll be working really hard," the 27-year-old said. "But still, it will take me some weeks to get to my best level."
Dominic Thiem will join the likes of Novak Djokovic, Gael Monfils and Stan Wawrinka, which begins on 19 April. The Austrian has also been featured on the entry list of the Madrid Masters, where he hopes to put up some 'solid tennis'.
"At the moment I'm working on my physical fitness together with Mike Reinprecht," Thiem added. "In Madrid I want to play solid tennis again."
Dominic Thiem hasn't won a single tournament since his triumph at the US Open last year, although he did reach the summit clash at the ATP Finals last November. The 27-year-old has struggled with an injury to his right foot, which has also caued him to drop out of the top 3 in the ATP rankings.
Dominic Thiem eyeing a strong clay swing this year
Dominic Thiem first made his mark on the ATP tour with some strong performances on clay. He has been one of the best players on the surface over the past few years, arguably behind only Rafael Nadal.
That said, Thiem has seen very little success at the big claycourt tournaments on the calendar. The Austrian has never made it past the quarterfinal stage in Monte Carlo, perhaps explaining why he decided to skip it altogether this year. Thiem has also been eliminated in the second round of the Rome Masters in his last two appearances - 2018 and 2019.
The 27-year-old has reached the final at both Madrid and Roland Garros, but is yet to lift the tile at either tournament. Dominic Thiem lost consecutive finals to Rafael Nadal in Paris in 2018 and 2019, and he also finished as the runner-up in Madrid in 2017 (lost to Nadal) and 2018 (lost to Alexander Zverev).
Incessant injury issues and an underwhelming start to the 2021 season could be why Dominic Thiem took such a long break in March. However, the 27-year-old will be looking to come back stronger on clay, and re-establish his status as one of the favorites to pick up the Roland Garros trophy in June.