Dominic Thiem suffered a “detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of the right wrist” during his match against Adrian Mannarino at the Mallorca Championships on 22nd June. He is currently wearing a splint on his right wrist. However, that has not stopped him from training in the gym or on the court.
On Tuesday, the Austrian posted a video on his Instagram and captioned it “finally back on court”. However, the 27-year-old was seen only using his left hand. He hit lefty forehands, one-handed lefty backhands, lefty volleys and did a few footwork drills to complete his workout.
He captured many people’s attention on social media with his lefty strokes and left many fans confused. “Love the left-hand play” one fan commented on his Instagram. “Is it just me or is he playing with his left hand?” asked someone else. Some fans even joked about Theim’s comparison to Rafael Nadal’s left-handed strokes by commenting “I didn’t know you love Rafa that much Domi”. With another saying, “you will get Rafa in trouble like this”.
Dominic Thiem defending his title at US Open 2021
Thiem won his first ever Grand Slam at the 2020 US Open against current world number 5, Alexander Zverev in a thrilling 5 set match final. The Austrian came back from two sets to love down to overcome the German. With the 5th set going to a tie breaker, Thiem won 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.
However, he has been struggling physically and mentally on the tour this year and has not been the same ever since he won his maiden Grand Slam. After losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open 2021 against Grigor Dimitrov, Thiem has complained about several issues including knee injuries, a drop in his motivation levels due to anxiety and how the ongoing pandemic is affecting his momentum.
The Austrians win-loss record this year to date has been 9-9 with his best result coming at the Mutua Madrid Open where he reached the semi-finals and then lost to Alexander Zverev in straight sets. At the French Open, Thiem lost against Pablo Andujar in straight sets in the first round due to which he dropped down to number 5 in the ATP rankings.
Thiem decided to withdraw from the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics to focus on the US Open and have a chance to defend his title in New York. “Few things changed my mind. It’s still a big dream for me to play in the Olympics so 2024 is the year I am going to be playing. I didn’t expect that it’s going to be so difficult and bad year for me. So I really need to make some points in order to keep up with the rankings, that’s one reason. Another reason, especially now I need some safe planning what I do in the upcoming weeks and months and Olympics was horrible, you couldn’t plan anything so I decided to withdraw and move it to 2024 in Paris” said Thiem.
However, a few days ago Thiem said that he is unsure if he will be able to play at the US Open in September. “I somehow hope that I may be able to play the US Open. As defending champion, playing in New York would be a dream. But still, I must not be disappointed in case it won’t work out” he said.