Hurt defending champion withdraws from US Open

1 month ago 13
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Defending champion Dominic Thiem has pulled out of the US Open, saying Wednesday he will miss the rest of the year because of a right wrist injury.

Thiem was hurt in June while playing in the Mallorca Open and said the pain returned last week after he hit a ball during training. Doctors recommended he wear a wrist splint for another six weeks before resuming training.

The No.6-ranked Thiem made the announcement in a social media post, and a statement from his management company described the injury as a detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of the right wrist.

"I'm very disappointed not to be able to defend my US Open title and to miss the rest of the season," the 27-year-old from Austria said in the statement.

"But I know this is what I have to do. I have a long career ahead of me, so I will only come back once I'm fully recovered and in good shape to compete."

Dominic Thiem serves during the 2020 US Open final against Alexander Zverev. (AP)

Thiem won his first major title last year at Flushing Meadows, beating Alexander Zverev by becoming the first player to come from two sets down in the US Open final since Pancho Gonzales in 1949.

But after the two-time French Open finalist was stunned by Pablo Andujar in the first round in Paris this year, he played only one more match. Thiem was leading Adrian Mannarino in the first set of his opening match at Mallorca when he had to stop playing.

Thiem joins five-time US Open champion Roger Federer and 2016 winner Stan Wawrinka among players who will miss the year's final Grand Slam tournament because of injury.

The tournament begins August 30.

Roger Federer at Wimbledon. (Getty)

VENUS WILLIAMS GIVEN WILDCARD

Two-time champion Venus Williams will be back at the US Open after being given a wild card Wednesday into the Grand Slam tournament.

The 41-year-old Williams has won seven major titles, including victories at Flushing Meadows in 2000 and 2001. But with her current WTA ranking of No.112, she has fallen outside the top 104 who received direct entry into the women's main draw.

Williams hasn't missed the US Open since 2006, when she was sidelined by a left wrist injury. She reached her last major semi-final there in 2017.

Venus Williams makes a forehand return to Kristen Flipkens at the Australian Open. (AP)

CoCo Vandeweghe, who also reached those semi-finals, also was awarded a wild card by the US Tennis Association. The former No.9-ranked American has battled injuries and is currently No.160.

American teenagers Caty McNally, Hailey Baptiste and Katie Volynets also received women's wild cards, along with 20-year-old Emma Navarro, the NCAA champion at Virginia, and Ashlyn Krueger. Krueger, 17, won the USTA Girls' 18s national championship to earn a wild-card spot.

On the men's side, 20-year-old Americans Jenson Brooksby and Brandon Nakashima were rewarded for their strong summers with wild cards. Both are now ranked inside the top 100, which would have been good enough for direct entry when the July 19 ATP rankings were used.

Jack Sock, who was once ranked eighth but has since struggled with injuries, received a wild card along with fellow Americans Emilio Nava and Ernesto Escobedo.

NCAA singles champion Sam Riffice of Florida and USTA Boys' 18s champion Zachary Svajda also got spots into the tournament that starts August 30, along with Australians Max Purcell and Storm Sanders.

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