Dominic Thiem won’t quite reach his goal of finishing the season inside the top 100 of the ATP Rankings, but he is happy with the progress he has made in recent months.
After missing the second half of the 2021 season and the first few months of this campaign due to a wrist injury, Thiem made his competitive return in March.
He has played in 19 tournaments – 16 on the ATP Tour and three on the ATP Challenger Tour – in seven months with his most recent outing a second-round defeat at the hands of top seed Daniil Medvedev at the Vienna Open.
Although he didn’t have a deep run at his home event, his first-round win will see him move up to a projected 108 in the ATP Rankings, a good position for someone who had slumped to No 352 in June.
His main aim since returning to action has been to return to the top 100 and qualify directly for the 2023 Australian Open, but although he won’t reach the first goal, he is set to play in the main draw of the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne.
“It’s been exhausting the last few weeks,” Thiem told Kleine Zeitung.
“I have played a lot since July. Therefore, the season is over for me. Also because I received good news from the ATP. I have 550 points, so the Australian Open should work out. If I can do that, it doesn’t matter if I [don’t] finish [the year] in the top 100.”
The 2020 US Open champion is set to take couple of weeks off before starting his 2023 pre-season training in November.
“I will put full focus on the preparation so that I will be ready early for the 2023 season,” he said. “At the beginning of December I will fly to the Emirates, do the preparations there and from there to Australia.”
Thiem has signed up for the $3m Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia and will join the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Gael Monfils at the Middle East exhibition tournament.
The 29-year-old knows he needs some matches under his belt and the Saudi Arabia event is a perfect opportunity to get match fit as he will face some high-class opponents.
“I needed that a few years ago, but probably even more now that I’m preparing with players like that,” he said.
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