Everything would have been so much easier for Dominic Thiam on the tennis court – his strong forehand, his elegant backhand, his hit-no-shot counts, everything from winning the US Open title and appearing in the Grand Slam final with two more at Roland-Garros.
Nowadays, though, the pain from last year’s torn tendon in his right wrist is no more, stroke and most annoyingly, which was not the case once, the amount of his first round out at Roland-Garros. He had a drawn tenth rate.
The situation has become so dire that 28-year-old Austrian Thiem, who was once at No. 3 but is now at No. 194, admitted after losing 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to Hugo Dalian that it was probably time. To get a win and gain some confidence he has to go on a low-level challenger tour.
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After lamenting for his forehand, his backhand, and a very low first-serve percentage, Thiam got into even bigger trouble: “Sometimes, I make really stupid decisions during the assembly, dropping shots, or mistakenly down-the-line (groundstroke). Moment. (In match situation) I’m not playing well. … Then, for example, there was a game today where I made four or five wrong forehand returns in a row, where I was thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ “
The cloudburst of the second major tennis tournament of the year, its quick departure on the occasional thunderous opening day was not the only notable improvement, welcoming pre-epidemic sights and no masks at the sound of full attendance and stands.
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Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spaniard, who is the No. 6 pick and popular pick to win his first Grand Slam trophy, advanced 6-4, 6, 6-4, 6 against the “lucky loser” Juan Ignacio Londaro, 2-2 in the final match of the day. -0. Another teenager, 18-year-old American Coco Goff, also advanced, losing 7-5 6-0 to Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino.
Given Thiem’s troubles – of course, he was runner-up to Rafael Nadal in Paris in 2018 and 2019 and Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2020, but his last win came in May 2021 – other results were even more astonishing.
The No. 6 pick in this category is Ons Zabeur 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 to 56th ranked Magda Linette of Poland.
Jabeur, a Tunisian who became the first Arab woman to win a WTA title and reach a Grand Slam quarter-final, admitted: “I was hoping to go a long way in this tournament.”
Was like the others. Because Zabeur started the day with 17 tour-leading victories on the ground this season, including winning the Madrid Open and reaching the final of the Italian Open.
Another top-10 women’s seed – and the 2016 champion at the venue – was sent home when Garbine Muguruza lost 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to 46th-ranked Kaya Kanepi of Estonia.
Muguruza defeated Serena Williams in the final at Roland Garros six years ago and Venus Williams in the final at Wimbledon in 2017, but she has now lost her opening match in Paris for the last two years.
Avoiding this type of result, the No. 9 seed of the men, Felix Agar-Aliasim, who one afternoon took care of two missing items in his resume: he picked up the Roland Garros victory for the first time in three attempts and won a match after missing the first two sets.
The 20-year-old Canadian returned to Peru’s qualifier Juan Pablo Varelias to make his Grand Slam debut in five sets.
Other winners included the 2017 US Open champion and 2018 Roland Garros runner-up Sloane Stephens, No. 23 Jill Teichman and No. 26 Sorana Sirastia among the women; Among the men are Alexander Zaverev (3rd), Gregor Dimitrov (18th), John Isner (23rd) and Botik van de Jundschalp (26th).
Bolivia’s ranked 87th Dalian entered his competition against Thiem with a 2-7 career record in a Grand Slam match. But since leaving, he has been able to hold his own on the long baseline exchange.
At the first point, which lasted 24 strokes, Thiem wrapped the net in a backhand passing shot and shook his head. Later, he tried a drop shot that floated wide. Absolutely not close. Shake your head again. At point six, a forehand return made the long journey. That initial set ends with Thiem’s forehand net, then the backhand net.
“Today, he was not at the top of his past, but I still needed to beat him,” Delian said after the match.
“It’s an important step in my career.”
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