Former world No. 3 Dominic Thiem has dropped sad hints that two and a half years of injury hell might lead to an early retirement at age 30.

The Austrian who won the US Open in 2020  has not been the same since a hard-luck injury chain began in June, 2021 with a wrist problem during the pre-Wimbledon run-up.

He finished runner-up twice at Roland Garros and four years ago in Melbourne.

Thiem has never managed to regain his one-time championship form and has been languishing in the lower reaches of the ATP ranking for several years, currently standing 90th.

A first-round loss at the Australian Open to Felix Auger-Aliassime seems to have speeded up career decisions.

“I see this as my last chance. If I make it, it can happen quickly,” he told Austria’s Der Standard.

“I’ve been back for two years now since the injury, and I finished 2022 on 100 or so and last year on 98.

“If I finish the year on 100 again, you have to think about whether it’s still worth it.”

The frustrated player added: “I’ve been chasing the feeling of really being able to play tennis in a match again for a long time – the way I expect myself to.”

Thiem is now looking for a coach besides trying to resurrect his career, giving himself a deadline of the end of the season to try and show some ranking progress.