The Serbia Open organizers in Belgrade have been dealing with many setbacks so far, even before the start of the event. The next week's ATP 250 event at Novak Djokovic Tennis Center has witnessed the withdrawal of Stan Wawrinka, Borna Coric, Gael Monfils and world no.
4 Dominic Thiem, who will not challenge Novak for the title. Struggling with a knee injury, the Austrian needs more time to recover and get back at 100% ahead of Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros, setting eyes on his first crown in Paris and throwing everything on that goal.
Thiem has won only five matches in the season's opening four months, dropping three of the last four encounters and choosing to withdraw from Miami and Monte Carlo. As he declared, Dominic needed some time away from tennis, not watching any action from Miami and recharging batteries ahead of the rest of the season.
Dominic Thiem withdrew from Belgrade with a knee injury.
"2021 doesn't want to get going. Unfortunately, I will have to cancel my start at next week's tournament in Novak Djokovic's hometown Belgrade. My knee hurts, and I went to see a doctor.
It is not a big issue, but I need to take care of it. I am not fit enough to play next week. I am sorry because I was looking forward to this tournament. I hope I will be able to play in Belgrade in 2022. This will delay my return to the ATP Tour until Madrid.
I want to get back at my 100% and play on a high level in Madrid. There is something positive, though: coach Nicolas Massu arrived in Austria yesterday; we will continue my program even though we have to be careful. In the meantime, I have also been working on my physical fitness with sports scientist Mike Reinprecht.
There is no doubt, the big goal until the summer is the French Open – I have to be at my best in Paris," Dominic Thiem said.