‘I’m in a tough period,’ admits Dominic Thiem as he opts for a ‘reset’ ahead of the clay season

Dominic Thiem looking perplexed

Dominic Thiem has joined the number of high-profile withdrawals from the Miami Open with the world No 4 deciding to take a break ahead of the clay-court season.

The reigning US Open champion has made a below-par start to the 2021 campaign as he won only one of his two matches at the ATP Cup and was knocked out in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

His poor run of form continued after the Australian swing as he lost in the quarter-final of the Qatar Open before going down in straight sets in his Dubai Tennis Championship opener against world No 81 Lloyd Harris on Tuesday.

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The ATP Masters 1000 Miami Open is next up on the calendar, but Thiem has decided to skip the event in order to be fresh for the clay-court season.

“You know that I like to play a lot, also when I was younger,” he said. “So now I really just need to reset myself a little bit to really go fresh into the clay season.

“Obviously, right now I’m in a tough period and just wouldn’t be the right thing to go to Miami.”

The 27-year-old has struggled with a foot injury in recent weeks, but he insists it did not trouble him during his defeat at the hands of Harris.

“There was no pain at all in the foot,” he said. “So it’s a little bit on and off. Maybe I’ll do a quick check or an MRI to see how that thing is developing.

He added: “But it’s not really the main issue, it’s just that I’m not playing well, that in general it is a tough period for me.

“I need to see that I’m starting fresh and really ready for the first clay tournament, wherever I wanna play.”

Thiem joins 20-time Grand Slam winners Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the list of high-profile stars who won’t play at the ATP Masters event in Miami.

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