Dominic Thiem, the reigning U.S. Open tennis champion and world No.6, has ended his 2021 season due to a lingering wrist injury he suffered in June.
The 27-year-old Austrian will not defend his men's singles title in New York, and fans won't see him until January at the earliest as he aims to get healthy for his 2022 campaign.
"It has been a tough decision to make but I know this is what I have to do," Thiem said in a statement released on his social media. "I have a long career ahead of me and it's important not to take risks and rush back."
Thiem has been ranked as high as No.3 in the world in March of 2020 and owns 17 career titles, the U.S. Open being the biggest among them. In 2019, he won a career-high five trophies, including the Indian Wells Masters 1000 crown, beating Roger Federer in the final.
The Indian Wells win solidified Thiem as an all-surface threat, having previously excelled on clay. He went on to win the U.S. Open in September of last year, beating now Olympic gold medallist Alexander Zverev in a dramatic final.
He has also been a major runner-up three times: In 2018 and 2019 at the French Open at Roland-Garros, losing to Rafael Nadal; and in 2020 at the Australian Open, where he fell to Novak Djokovic in five sets.
Djokovic is favourite to claim the 2021 US Open crown, with Roger Federer also missing the tournament and uncertainty over Nadal's participation.