Dominic Thiem’s comeback has been further delayed as the 2020 US Open champion does not feel ready to return at this week’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
Austrian star Thiem has been out of action since suffering a wrist injury at the Mallorca Championships in June.
The 28-year-old missed Wimbledon and was unable to defend his title at Flushing Meadows, but he appeared to be on course to make his comeback before the end of 2021 after revealing in October he does not require surgery on his wrist.
However, the world number 15 is now facing a battle to be back to full fitness for January’s Australian Open after withdrawing from an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.
“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,” the 17-time ATP Tour champion posted via Twitter on Tuesday.
“It’s disappointing to not take part this year but I need to continue my preparation for the upcoming season.”
Thiem follows Casper Ruud in pulling out of the tournament, which begins on Thursday, while Emma Raducanu is out of the women’s singles after testing positive for coronavirus.
Dan Evans and Taylor Fritz have taken the places of former world number three Thiem and Ruud, joining Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov, Andy Murray and defending champion Rafael Nadal in the draw.