Dominic Thiem defeats Alexander Zverev in US Open final
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Dominic Thiem has spoken about his plans to return to the tour after pulling out of the US Open, where he is the defending champion. The world No 6 injured his wrist during the Mallorca Championships in June and has been unable to play since. Thiem recently announced he would be ending his season early, and is now targeting the Australian Open as his first tournament back.
Thiem had suffered with a few injury niggles at the start of the season, falling in the earlier rounds at multiple events including Roland Garros.
The Austrian then entered the ATP 250 event in Mallorca ahead of Wimbledon, and was 5-2 up on Adrian Mannarino when he was forced to retire with a right wrist injury.
He later revealed that he had “detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of the right wrist” and was forced to wear a splint for five weeks.
Although he tried to recover in time for the US Open, even hiring Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev’s former strength trainer, the defending champion was forced to pull out and cut his season short.
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He admitted that he rushed the injury and was “paying a heavy price”, having had no prior experience in dealing with something so serious.
“I wanted to come back too quickly, I rushed,” he told Austria’s Servus TV.
“This situation is difficult to accept, but it’s important that I now take my time.”
Having initially set his sights on defending his maiden Grand Slam, Thiem said he had more clarity in knowing how long he would be out for after ending his season early.
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The former top three player has also detailed his comeback plan, revealing he won’t be practicing for another couple of months.
He said: “I’m going to wear a cast for six weeks. I hope to be able to resume the path of training at the beginning of November.”
Thiem also set his sights on the next Grand Slam as his comeback tournament, though has previously admitted he may have to take the surgery route.
The Austrian’s injury has been likened to one Rafael Nadal suffered with in 2016, which saw him forced to withdraw from Roland Garros and later shut down his season following the US Open.
“Nadal had the same thing in 2016, Nishikori had the same, and so did Bencic. The doctors have said that if it heals properly, it is not a problem,” he previously said.
While the 17-time title winner would ideally avoid surgery, he believes it would not set him back with his recovery process and only delay his comeback.
“My goal is to make my return to the Australian Open,” he said.
“It is quite possible, on the sole condition of avoiding the operation. If [avoiding surgery] is not the case, my return will be delayed for about two months.”
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