Reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem made the difficult decision to shut down his 2021 season due to a worsening right wrist injury, meaning the Austrian won't make the trip to New York to defend his title.

The former world No. 3 first injured his wrist at the Mallorca Championships, forcing him out of both Wimbledon and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where his coach Nicolas Massu won gold in 2004.

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Thiem had nonetheless been optimistic about his chances to return in time for the US Open, where he won his first major title in a five-set final with Alexander Zverev last summer, and enthusiastically shared training footage back in July.

"For the last six-seven weeks, I was following all the advice, wearing the splint and starting slowly to mobilize and strengthen the wrist again," he explained in a video statement posted to Instagram. "But last week, I played one forehand and felt a similar pain, like when it happened back in Mallorca.

"After long talks and explanations [with my doctors], we decided to have a very long career ahead, to give it another chance with conservative therapy and have my wrist in a splint for another couple of weeks and then try to regain strength and mobility before getting back on court."

Thiem aims to be back in time for action to resume at the start of the 2022 season.