VIENNA/WASHINGTON, October 29, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)
After coming back from a nine-month respite, in which he dealt with injuries to both his wrist and finger, then contracted COVID-19, Dominic Thiem put together an 18-16 ATP Tour-level win-loss record and lifted his ranking this week to No. 113 (108 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings). On Tuesday, the Austrian favorite son saved two match points in a 2-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (6) triumph over Tommy Paul in the opening round of the ATP 500 Erste Bank Open indoor event in Vienna.
There is no place like home! 🇦🇹🙌🏼
Thank you for being so supportive today! You guys are amazing! 🙏🏻
— Dominic Thiem (@domithiem) October 25, 2022
Then, on Thursday, Thiem lost to World No. 4 and top seed Daniil Medvedev, 6-3, 6-3, which ended his string of consecutive Vienna quarterfinal appearances at three. Afterward, the former World No. 3 told reporters that he intended to end his 2022 season. There will be no going to Bercy to play in the Rolex Paris Masters qualifying this weekend or to the upcoming Peugeot Slovak Open in Bratislava, Slovakia the following week. Each which would have given Thiem a chance to break back into the Top 100 before the end of the year.
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) October 27, 2022
Instead, Thiem’s return to the Top 100 will have to wait until 2023. However, the 29-year-old’s actual ranking, which was boosted after back-to-back semifinal runs earlier this month at Gijón, Spain and Antwerp, Belgium in a pair of ATP 250 indoor events, should be enough to gain him direct entry into next January’s Australian Open.
According to Kleine Zeitung, Thiem said he intends to take a short vacation before going through an intense fitness block and then following it with on-court training in the United Arab Emirates.
“I will put full focus on the preparation so that I will be fully ready in early 2023,” Thiem said, according to the Austrian newspaper. “At the beginning of December, I will fly to the Emirates, do the preparations there and from there to Australia.”
Dominic Thiem’s season is over.
He will not play Paris-Bercy qualies or Bratislava Challenger.
Thiem will finish the season outside the top 100, but his actual ranking can be enough to enter AusOpen directly.https://t.co/uTysHJyDHQ
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 27, 2022
According to reports, Thiem will participate in the upcoming Dirayah Tennis Cup exhibition in Saudi Arabia, Dec. 8-10, along with Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Gaël Monfils.
Thiem has recently expressed the belief that he can see himself competing again for Grand Slam titles. After all, he won the 2020 US Open for his first major and before that was a two-time Roland Garros finalist.
“I have the belief that I can do it,” Thiem said. “If not, I would give up my career. I was at the top among the top three in the ranking. And I do have the feeling that I am capable of fighting again for the big titles, for the Slams, and to beat anyone. Otherwise, all this hard work would be meaningless to me. I hope next year I can do it.”