Worrying news for Dominic Thiem as he postpones planned comeback in Abu Dhabi

Dominic Thiem in action

Former US Open champions Dominic Thiem has been forced to postpone his latest comeback attempt.

Thiem has not hit a ball on the ATP Tour since injuring his wrist after against Adrian Mannarino at a Wimbledon warm-up event in Mallorca last summer, but he was hopeful of making a comeback in the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi this week.

Yet after British teenager Emma Raducanu pulled out of the tournament after contracting Covid-19, Thiem has now become the latest high-profile name to withdraw.

“I was looking forward to making my return to competition at Abu Dhabi but I feel that I am not yet ready to compete at the highest level,” Thiem wrote on his social media account.

“It’s disappointing to not take part this year but I need to continue my preparation for the upcoming season.”

This is a setback for Thiem, after he talked up his hopes of playing against ahead of what he hopes will be a return to Grand Slam action in Australia next month.

Thiem gave a positive update in October as he confirmed he would not need surgery on his wrist, as he talked up his chances of playing against in 2021.

“I had a very important thing today,” he said in a video on social media. “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 surgery, it’s looking stable and it’s looking good.

“It has been a long time without the racket and I honestly miss it. A huge thanks to all the fans who supported me during the long months and weeks, I don’t think I would have made it through without you. Big thank you and I see you soon.”

Now there will be question marks over whether he will make the trip to Melbourne, with Britain’s Dan Evans and America’s Taylor Fritz added to the line-up for the event in Abu Dhabi.