US Open champion Dominic Thiem can’t seem to snap out of his 2021 slump, with the Austrian delaying his start on clay by another week.

The ATP No. 4 who has played only nine matches this season, withdrew from next week’s Belgrade event run by the Djokovic family and will now step onto the dirt a week later at the Madrid Masters.

Thiem last competed a month ago, losing his opening match in Dubai to South African Lloyd Harris.

Thiem said he has developed knee pain after returning to training at home after putting down the racquet for a few weeks due to burnout.

“Unfortunately, with a heavy heart, I have to cancel my start next week at Novak Djokovic’s home tournament in Belgrade,” he posted on his webpage.

“My knee is painful, I’ve already had a doctor examine me. I’m definitely not fit enough to take part in Belgrade next week.”

Thiem has played two Roland Garros finals against Rafael Nadal and has back-to-back finals in Madrid, losing to Nadal and Alexander Zverev.

“I want to be completely fit by the beginning of May at the latest, in order to be able to show decent tennis again,” he said.

“No question about it, the French Open is the big goal by summer – in Paris I have to be able to show my top form.”


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