Dominic Thiem preparing to make his comeback alongside Rafael Nadal next month

Dominic Thiem waving

Dominic Thiem has confirmed he is intending to make his return to action at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi next month.

The former US Open champion has been sidelined since before Wimbledon with a wrist injury but has stepped up his recovery.

Thiem wrote on social media: “I am very happy to announce that my recovery is going well. The MRI I did today showed that my wrist injury has improved significantly.

“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.

“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.”

Thiem also revealed that he has now been vaccinated after being refused entry to last week’s ATP tournament in Vienna as a spectator because of his unvaccinated status.

If Thiem plays in Abu Dhabi, he could play against Rafael Nadal, who has also confirmed he is planning to play in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship as he recovers from a foot injury.

“My plan is to play Abu Dhabi in December and a tournament before playing the Australian Open. It is my goal and we are working hard to make it that way,” Nadal said at a Babolat event in Paris.

“I don’t know exactly when I’ll be back, but I can say that my goal is to try to come back to Abu Dhabi in December, and then, of course, for the start of the new season in January.

“The injury in my foot still needs to get a little better, but I’m already training almost an hour and a half a day so that’s positive.

“I’m training, I’m feeling better. I’m back on the court.”