Dominic Thiem, the Austrian tennis star who rose to prominence with a powerful one-handed backhand and a never-say-die attitude, has announced his retirement from the sport after the 2024 season. The 30-year-old shared the news in a social media video, citing a combination of a lingering wrist injury and a shift in his internal fire.

Thiem’s career will be remembered for his thrilling contests with the sport’s “Big Three” – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer. While those titans often stood between him and Grand Slam glory, Thiem managed to carve his own space in the record books. In 2020, he broke through at the US Open, defeating Alexander Zverev in a dramatic five-set final played in an eerily empty stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This victory cemented his place as the first player born in the 1990s to win a Grand Slam singles title, and the second Austrian to do so after Thomas Muster.

However, a right wrist injury sustained in mid-2021 derailed Thiem’s momentum. The once-dominant backhand lost its sting, and his results on the court reflected the struggle. Since the injury, Thiem has compiled a dismal 1-7 record in Grand Slam main draws, with his ranking plummeting to 117th in the world.

Looking back, though, Thiem’s career boasts some truly remarkable moments. He was the lone wolf, consistently taking down at least five matches from each member of the Big Three. This esteemed company includes victories over Djokovic at the French Open (2017, 2019), Nadal at the Australian Open (2020), and a win over Federer in the prestigious Indian Wells final (2019). These triumphs solidify Thiem’s legacy as a player who could challenge the dominance of the established guard.

“There are some reasons behind it,” Thiem said in his video message. “Firstly, my wrist. It’s not where it needs to be. Secondly, my inner feeling. This decision has been brewing for a long time.” Despite the challenges, Thiem acknowledges the incredible journey he’s been on. “I’ve won trophies I never even dared to dream of,” he reflected.

Thiem’s retirement marks the departure of a fierce competitor and a fan favorite. His powerful groundstrokes and unwavering determination on the court will undoubtedly be missed. Yet, as he hangs up his racquet, one can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment for the Austrian. He conquered the biggest stage, challenged the sport’s elite, and leaves behind a legacy as a Grand Slam champion.

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