Tennis tournament: Recovering Thiem to skip Australian Open

Dominic Thiem has pulled out of next ’s Australian Open to work towards regaining full fitness after a long-standing wrist injury, the former world number three said on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old Austrian, who has not played since suffering the injury at the Mallorca Open in June, was unable to defend U.S. Open title this year.

He had earlier withdrawn from the team-based ATP Cup, which starts on Saturday in Sydney, and other warmup events of the hardcourt major at Melbourne Park.

“I am now feeling well again, my wrist is in optimal condition and I am practicing normally with a very good intensity.

“After the short holidays, my team and I have assessed all matters and we have decided to make some changes to my initial tournament schedule,” Thiem said on Twitter.

Thiem, who has slipped to 15th in the rankings, reached the final at Melbourne Park last year before winning maiden major title at Flushing Meadows.

He opted against playing five-set matches on return to competition at the Australian Open, deciding to start 2022 season in South America at the Cordoba Open in at the end of January.

“I will miss the Australian fans, but I will be back (there) in 2023.

“We this is the right decision in order to have a good return to competition.

the moment I will remain in Austria a few more days and then head to practice outdoors and get ready my first of the season,” Thiem added.

Thiem became the latest top player to pull out of the Grand Slam due to injury after Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Jennifer Brady, Karolina Pliskova, Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu.

The major of 2022 is due to start on Jan. 17.