Also in the first round it was said for Thiem at the French Open: “Au Revoir!” In Paris, the Lower Austrian was beaten in three sets by the Bolivian Hugo Dellien 6:3, 6:2 and 6:4. Although Thiem is no longer in pain, he can’t find his game. The former third in the world rankings is still looking for a sense of achievement after returning from a long injury break.
After the defeat, he presented himself in a media round of the Austrian press: “I don’t miss one specific thing, but many. Of course there isn’t enough power in my shots yet, and it’s not just the forehand. I have a much too low percentage on the first serve. The first serve doesn’t hurt the opponent enough, the backhand is okay but not long enough and not fast enough. And sometimes I make really stupid decisions during a rally.” Thiem not self-criticism.
Thiem acted tense against the Bolivian. The body language of the Lower Austrian was not necessarily full of self-confidence. But this is a crucial factor at the top level. Even at the top level there are perhaps not quite appropriate comparisons, for example when Rafael Nadal won the title right away after a long break last January. “It’s no different, they also had really serious injuries. The only difference is that it has always taken me a relatively long time to play good matches again,” explained Thiem.
In any case, the ex-US Open winner does not want to change anything in his environment or his style of play. “I will continue on the path of playing with 100% intensity that has made me successful. If I’m standing there at the end of the year and I don’t see any development then I have to think about something, but it’s only been two months since Marbella.” In any case, Thiem would like to continue at Challenger level. In Perugia (June 6th) and Parma (June 13th/both Italy) there are still two tournaments on the program before Wimbledon.
Sebastian Ofner also returned to the tour after a long injury break. In the end, Alexander Zverev lost 6: 2, 6: 4, 6: 4 in three sets. After his operated heel wedge and a further flare-up of his illness from glandular fever in January, he never dreamed that he would soon be feeling well again. “I was extremely surprised myself that I played quarters in the second tournament after eight months and then won the tournament, there were two strong tournaments.”
Ofner plays Italian league, then next week probably at a Challenger in France, then another and then Wimbledon qualifier. That’s where the paths of the two Austrians will cross again on the tour.