Dominic Thiem's rotten run of injuries and misfortunes has continued at the US Open, with the former champion forced to retire from his second round match against local hope, Ben Shelton. Thiem - who has been ranked as high as No.3 in the world - was forced to pull the pin early in the second set against the American after appearing to struggle with a stomach complaint.
Thiem had already pulled out of a recent tournament with gastroenteritis and was clearly not 100% against Shelton, who he was trailing 6-7 1-0 against when he decided he could go on no further. Thiem had taken a bathroom break but returned to court in a state of distress as he explained the situation to his coach and the chair umpire.
'SUCH A SHAME': Ajla Tomljanovic rocked amid 'horrible' development
'WHAT A JOKE': Novak Djokovic caught up in US Open 'disgrace'
The 29-year-old - who revealed that he had vomited before the match - could be heard telling his coach that he felt like throwing up during the bathroom break but nothing would come out. The Austrian reveals graphic details of his alarming condition to the chair umpire as he returned to court.
Dominic Thiem retires against Ben Shelton at the US Open due to some type of abdominal issue.
He was hunched over on the bench & talking to the physio.
He said he threw up before the match.
Domi has made so much progress these last few months.
Such a shame. 💔 pic.twitter.com/jN2FPzAjOp
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) August 30, 2023
“I’m completely f***ed,” he said. “I feel so sh*t.” Thiem eventually shook hands with Shelton and left the court, before hunching over in his chair at the side of the court in obvious distress. It was a devastating sight for a player who had won his first grand slam match in more than two years after beating Alexander Bublik in the first round.
Fans gutted for Dominic Thiem after latest setback
Having won the US Open in 2020, Thiem has suffered a devastating run of injuries and health issues that have cruelled what was shaping up to be a very promising career. The tennis world was quick to send messages of support and strength to the Austrian after his latest devastating setback.
It’s sad to see Dominic Thiem like this. He can’t catch a break. Sad as hell. Get well soon, Domi. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UdpjJaOP1j
— Clint. (@CleanThing_) August 30, 2023
well man.. that was a really fun 1st Set between Thiem & Shelton. Feel awful for Thiem
as for Shelton… the path is there man… a deep run is OTW
— Liam (@Blutman27) August 30, 2023
This is so sad. Dominic Thiem is a great guy and a really great player. Sad to think we have seen his prime time already. He deserves only the best!
— Marcela Linhares (@ma__linharess) August 30, 2023
dominic thiem being done is so sad, he was doing really well
— emily (@joonflutter) August 30, 2023
Feel gutted for Thiem! That's just terrible...
— ManyFoldMusings (@MusingsMany) August 30, 2023
Aussie through to third round in career grand slam first
In other men's action, Australia's Rinky Hijikata advanced to the third round of a grand slam for the first time in his career after a stunning win over World No.57 Márton Fucsovics. Ranked 53 places lower than his Hungarian opponent at World No.110, Hijikata produced an extraordinary 6-1 6-2 6-1 victory.
The Aussie's win on Thursday came amid a day of drama for his compatriots, with Ajla Tomljanovic withdrawing before her second round clash with Elena Rybakina. Tomljanovic, who played her first match on Tuesday since undergoing knee surgery in January, has now picked up a right arm issue. It means Australia doesn't have any women remaining in the singles draw after Daria Saville pushed World No.1 Iga Swiatek but went down 3-6 4-6.
Men's World No.7 Stefanos Tsitsipas crashed out at the hands of Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker, with the 128th-ranked Swiss star raising his hands and flopping on his back to celebrate his first-ever victory over a top-10 player in just his third appearance at a grand slam. Stricker also took out Australia's Alexei Popyrin in the first round. "I'm just super happy right now. I came out and felt good from the first set on. ... I just kept playing high-level tennis."
Joining Tsitsipas as a massive second round casualty was last year's US Open runner-up Casper Ruud, who crashed out in five sets against China's Zhang Zhizhen. It was a wild rollercoaster of a match for Ruud, who ultimately succumbed 4-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-0, 2-6 to his 67th-ranked opponent, who became the first Chinese man to beat a top-10 player at a grand slam.
Novak Djokovic suffered a scary tumble en route to a straight-sets defeat of Spain's Bernabe Zapata Miralles. Djokovic had fans holding their breath when he hit the deck in a nasty tumble, but shook off the fall and continued his torrid display, with a crushing 6-4 6-1 6-1 victory.
"I'm still moving pretty well for an old fella," the 36-year-old said in his on-court interview. "It was a tough match, especially in the first set. When we had the entire court in shadow, there was a lot of humidity. But it's same for both players. I didn't start off the match very well but the second and third sets were a couple of levels higher so I'm very pleased with the way I finished off the match."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.