Dominic Thiem recently shared an encouraging message after he was forced to retire from his second-round match at the 2023 US Open due to a mysterious illness.
Thiem was clearly struggling on the court and could not continue after losing the first set against Ben Shelton in a tiebreak. The Austrian left the court several times, before calling it quits after consulting with the doctor.
The 29-year-old later revealed that he had been suffering from a stomach issue that affected his energy and concentration. He said he did not know the exact cause of his illness, but that he plans to undergo medical tests in Austria next week.
On Friday, September 2, Thiem posted an update on his Instagram account, where he expressed disappointment at his forced retirement from the US Open.
"It is never nice to not be able to finish a match, but this time it hurts even more because this tournament means so much to me. At the beginning of next week, I have some medical tests in Austria and then I’ll know more," he wrote.
The Austrian, however, was encouraged by his "high level" of play and is optimistic about the future.
"But I’ll take the positive with me that I can play at a very high level again and that gives me a lot of confidence for the upcoming tournaments. Thank you all for the incredible support. See you soon," he added.
He missed most of the 2022 season due to a wrist injury that required surgery. The 29-year-old also recently reached the final in Kitzbuhel, where he lost to Sebastian Baez in straight sets.
"When he kind of let the ball go by, I kind of had an idea of what was going on" - Ben Shelton on Dominic Thiem
Shelton said that he noticed Thiem was not feeling well when he came back from a toilet break.
"Yeah, I mean, I could kind of tell when he came back on court after the bathroom break that he was pretty down, dejected with his head down," he said.
"When I came out to my service game, I was ready to go and wasn't thinking anything of it. Then those four points where he kind of let the ball go by, I kind of had an idea of what was going on," he added.
Shelton has since beaten Aslan Karatsev in four sets and will face compatriot Tommy Paul in the fourth round. The pair met in the Australian Open quarterfinals earlier this year, with Paul winning 7-6(6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.