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Dominic Thiem, now vaccinated, plans long awaited return to tennis at Abu Dhabi in December

Dominic Thiem will play his first competitive tennis since June after signing on for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Dominic Thiem, Majorque, 2021 Panoramic, Tennis Majors

Former world No 3 Dominic Thiem has been out of action on the ATP Tour since June, due to a season-ending wrist injury, but things are currently looking up for the 2020 US Open champion and owner of 309 tour-level wins. After finding that he would not need surgery in October, Thiem is making progress in his rehab and ready to compete again.

The Austrian announced that he will compete at this year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi in December, joining a field that also includes Casper Ruud, the current world No 8, and Denis Shapovalov, the current world No 19.

“I was keen to find the right opportunity to make my return to the court and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship comes at a great time. The Championship offers the perfect environment to continue my comeback and play against the top guys on tour,” said Thiem in a statement released by the tournament.

Fully vaccinated – and aiming to play 2022 Australian Open

Thiem took to social media to give an update on his recovery.

“The MRI I did today showed that my wrist injury has improved significantly,” the Austrian said. “A couple of weeks ago I started playing with soft balls 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 competition later this year.”

Thiem also shared some news about his vaccination status.

“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,” he said. “Needless to say that the vaccine is needed to play both events, and in my case I have already been vaccinated.”

A rough 2021 season for Thiem

Thiem originally injured his right wrist during a match with Adrian Mannarino at Mallorca. He was forced to retire from the match and sought the advice of medical experts. He would later reveal to fans that he had suffered a detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of his right wrist. Finally, in early October, the 17-time ATP titlist learned that he would not need surgery on the wrist, and he began plans to return to the tour.

“I had a very important thing today. I was in Belgium to decide if I need surgery on my wrist or not and luckily I have very, very good news. I won’t need the surgery,” Thiem said on social media at the time. “It’s really stable and it’s looking good, my wrist. The next week I have to make it more flexible and strengthen my wrist, do everything to prepare to slowly start playing tennis again. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been a pretty long time without a racquet and I honestly miss it.”

Thiem’s ranking has dropped to No 12 while he has been off the tour. He finished with a 9-9 record on the ATP Tour in 2021, with losses in his final four matches, and a best result a semi-final at the Madrid Masters.

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