Another hard setback for one of the best tennis players on the planet. 28-year-old Austrian Dominic Thiem, current world number 15, announced that his recovery is slower than expected and postponed his return to activity, which was scheduled for next week at the Abu Dhabi exhibition .
It should be remembered that Thiem has been dragging a right wrist injury, which made him undergo surgery and miss the second half of the season. "I was looking forward to getting back to racing in Abu Dhabi, but I feel like I'm not ready to compete at the highest level yet," the Austrian wrote on his Twitter account.
"It is disappointing not to be able to play this year, but I need to continue my preparation for next season," he added. Thiem comes from a long inactivity that made him lose his place as number three in the world and incidentally prevented him from defending his crown at the United States Open, a contest that he won in the 2019 edition.
The Austrian had expressed his intention to play the Mubadala exhibition that has been played since 2009 in Abu Dhabi. He was already scheduled to play his first match against Britain's Andy Murray. Although he did not confirm or deny it, the possibility that he can play the first Grand Slam of next season is now up in the air, which will be the Australian Open scheduled for January 17-30 at Melbourne Park.
Rafael Nadal has been away from competitive tennis since July after a chronic foot injury resurfaced at Roland Garros.
All eyes will be on Rafa
Alex Corretja said that while Rafael Nadal does not require much time to get into rhythm, it is the extra "half a second" he will be missing in his movement that may cost him dearly after his return.
"What worries me the most about his (Rafael Nadal) recovery are his movements," Corretja told Eurosport. "His mobility on the court, his intensity, the way he is going to move, the way he will do the supports when he hits the ball.
When he moves well and is well supported to hit his backhand and arrives perfectly to play with his parallel forehand and dominate, Rafa is almost impossible to beat. The problem is how he gets to that ball so he can be well supported and hit well."
The trio are currently tied on 20 Majors each. Corretja said the first week in Melbourne will be crucial for the Spaniard to get into form and rhythm. "Rafa is already good enough for the first week of the Grand Slam to serve as a preparation.
Before, maybe he didn't think so, but his level of tennis and his physique require that during the first week of a Grand Slam, he must find a good rhythm," Corretja added.