Dominic Thiem Returns to Tennis in Abu Dhabi Next December

Dominic Thiem Returns to Tennis in Abu Dhabi Next December Photo: TT
Dominic Thiem at the Mutua Madrid Open. May 6, 2021. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Bernat Armangue.

The 13th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, to be held in Abu Dhabi next month, will see former world number three Dominic Thiem back in action for the first time since June, organizers confirmed Tuesday.

In the afternoon, Dominic Thiem made an official statement released through his social media accounts, which reads: “I am very happy to announce that my recovery is going well. The MRI I did today showed that my wrist injury has improved significantly.

A couple of weeks ago, I started playing with softballs and was able to switch to normal tennis balls during yesterday’s practice session. My team and I strongly believe that I’ll be ready to make my comeback to the competition later this year.”

The 2020 U.S. Open champion has been sidelined from tour by a wrist injury sustained in June while hitting a forehand at the Mallorca Championships.

The lingering injury prevented the 17-time ATP titlist from competing in Wimbledon and defending the title at the U.S. Open.

In addition, the 28-year-old was forced to withdraw from the Olympic Games in Tokyo, ultimately leading to the abrupt end of his 2021 season.

Further, Thiem added: “I’ll be returning to competition in December and will be playing the MWTC 2021 in Abu Dhabi - with the objective to return to the tour for the 2022 Australian Open.

Needless to say that the vaccine is needed to play both events, and in my case, I have already been vaccinated. I saw, recently, some news about this, and I had made it very clear that I would get vaccinated.”

The Championship, in which the Austrian played in 2017 and 2018, is a three-day event - last year, it got postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2021 it returns featuring a player line-up consisting of six of the world’s top male and two female tennis players.

The one-off women’s match will see U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu facing Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Belinda Bencic.

Thus far, on the male side, World No. 8 Casper Ruud and Canadian star Denis Shapovalov have been confirmed by the organizers, with Thiem, ranked No. 12, joining them at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, in Abu Dhabi.

Three more player’s names are yet to be revealed, ahead of the event that will run from 16 -18 December.

John Lickrish, CEO Flash Entertainment, outlined: “Everyone knows how good a player Dominic Thiem is, especially our loyal, knowledgeable Championship fans. We are thrilled that he has decided to choose our Championship to make his return to tennis.

Once again, it demonstrates the appeal of playing in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship as a great opportunity for the world’s best to benefit from top-class competitive action ahead of the new season.”

Adding: “With the return of full capacity, more people will have the chance to see the world’s best players up close and soak up the festival atmosphere in the stadium and Tennis Village. With a stellar line-up that is going to be amplified by three more world-class names, I urge fans to secure their tickets now.”

The pre-season tournament may also see Rafael Nadal making an appearance, the first since August 2021, as he recently revealed his intentions to contest the event.

My plan is to play Abu Dhabi in December and then in a tournament before Australia and then the Australian Open. That’s my goal.

We’re working hard to make it happen. The injury in my foot still needs to get a little better, but I’m already training almost an hour-and-a-half a day, so that’s positive.”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion has been on the recovery road from a foot injury, which as well as Thiem, brought his 2021 season to an early end.

Today, with this pain, I am not able to enjoy it, and I really don’t believe that I have the chance to fight for the things that I really need to fight for,” he stated at the time.

In September, the Spaniard announced through social media, he underwent a medical treatment on his left foot in Barcelona, appearing on Instagram standing with a pair of crutches in his left hand.

I am back home and in the process of recovery. Thank you all for your support!” Nadal wrote.

The 35-year-old is the defending champion at the MWTC, having beaten world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas back in 2019 in the championship match.

The Australian Open, the first major of the 2022 season, will run from 17th-30th January.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and a journalist passionate about sports, particularly motorsport, tennis, and soccer

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