Thiem an Australian Open doubt after Kooyong withdrawal

Tennis – Kooyong Classic – Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, Melbourne, Australia, January 10, 2018. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts to the crowd after winning his match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem. REUTERS/David Gray

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Dominic Thiem’s preparations for the Australian Open suffered another setback on Thursday when the world number five was forced to pull out of the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament.

The Austrian spent four days in bed with a virus after pulling out of a tournament in Doha last week and, also suffering from jet lag, was thrashed 6-1 6-4 by Novak Djokovic in the Serbian’s return to action at Kooyong on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old, who reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park last year, said after the round robin match that he felt he had recovered from the virus but on Thursday pulled out of his tie against France’s Lucas Pouille.

Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori have already withdrawn from the Australian Open through injury and there have been doubts over the fitness of Rafa Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Djokovic.

The draw for the Jan. 15-28 tournament, the first grand slam of the year, takes place later on Thursday.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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