Dominic Thiem says his recovery is "going according to plan" despite withdrawal from Abu Dhabi exhibition

Dominic Thiem at the 2021 Australian Open
Dominic Thiem at the 2021 Australian Open
Namit Kumar

Dominic Thiem has been inactive on the men's tour since July, after he suffered a wrist injury at the ATP 250 event in Mallorca. The Austrian was due to start preparations for the 2022 season at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi this week but withdrew at the last moment claiming he is not yet ready at the highest level.

Speaking to members of the media following his withdrawal, Thiem said that despite not being able to make it to the event in Abu Dhabi, his recovery was going according to plan.

"The whole process is going according to plan. I am pain free," Thiem was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "But I lag behind in training."

The 28-year-old added that he needs his forehand to be at 100 percent to compete professionally, but feels it is not there yet.

"I only go onto the pitch when I can pull through 100 percent of the forehand and I'm currently at 80," he said.

Dominic Thiem's injury was not as bad as initially feared. He is said to have aggravated it during rehabilitation, in an attempt to make it back in time for the defense of his US Open title. The Austrian went through a series of changes to his backroom staff as a result.

"Optimistic" I will be at the ATP Cup: Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem at the 2020 ATP Cup
Dominic Thiem at the 2020 ATP Cup

Dominic Thiem will be eyeing a strong comeback on the ATP tour after months of absence. The Austrian has been troubled with mental and physical issues throughout the year and has only amassed nine wins in 18 matches.

The 2022 Australian Open has been the goal of his comeback ever since he called time on his 2021 season, especially after it was confirmed he would not require surgery on his wrist.

The Austrian is scheduled to play at the ATP Cup in Sydney prior to the first Major of the year, which he claims he is optimistic about.

"I am optimistic that I will be there (at the ATP Cup). That is definitely the goal," Thiem said.
Update from Dominic Thiem: Says that withdrawal from Abu Dhabi is no setback as it was clear from the beginning that it'll be close. He is pain free but still misses some confidence on the forehand.He plans to play the ATP Cup and the Australian Open, maybe 250 event in Sydney.

After being a mainstay in the top 10 of the ATP rankings for five years, Dominic Thiem's injury has seen him drop to 15th. The Austrian dropped 3,000 ranking points after missing the US Open and Indian Wells.

While Thiem remains optimistic about his comeback, questions surround his fitness and ability to compete at the summit of men's tennis.

Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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