Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem will make his return to tennis at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi next month, organisers confirmed on Tuesday.
Thiem, 28, has been sidelined with a wrist injury since June, and in August announced he would skip the remainder of the season to focus on his recovery, forcing the Austrian to miss Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics, and his US Open title defence.
The world No 12's return to action has now been confirmed for Abu Dhabi and he will join Norway's world No 8 Casper Ruud and Canadian Denis Shapovalov, ranked 19th, in the capital for the six-player tournament. Thiem has twice competed at MWTC, in 2017 and 2018, placing third and fourth respectively.
“I was keen to find the right opportunity to make my return to the court and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship comes at a great time," said Thiem, who is a 17-time winner on the ATP Tour. "The Championship offers the perfect environment to continue my comeback and play against the top guys on tour."
The 2021 tournament will be the 13th edition and takes place December 16-18 at the International Tennis Centre in Zayed Sports City. The stadium will welcome fans at full capacity, with those in attendance required to display green status on the Al Hosn app and a negative PCR test result with 96-hour validity to access the grounds.
“Everyone knows how good a player Dominic Thiem is, especially our loyal, knowledgeable Championship fans," said John Lickrish, CEO of Flash Entertainment, the tournament owners.
"We are thrilled that he has decided to choose our Championship to make his return to tennis. Once again it demonstrates the appeal of playing in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship as a great opportunity for the world’s best to benefit from top-class competitive action ahead of the new season.
“With the return of full capacity, more people will have the chance to see the world’s best players up close and soak up the festival atmosphere in the stadium and Tennis Village. With a stellar line-up that is going to be amplified by three more world-class names, I urge fans to secure their tickets now.”
In addition to the six-player male tournament, MWTC will once again stage a one-off women's match, which will be contested by US Open champion Emma Raducanu and Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic.
Tickets start from Dh100 for adults and Dh50 for children and are available from ticketmaster.ae and Virgin Megastores across the UAE. In line with current protocols, measures will be in place within the stadium and throughout the Tennis Village to ensure the health and safety of fans, players and officials.